Thursday, August 22, 2019

Excerpt & Giveaway: THE BIRD BOYS by Lisa Sandlin

A Delpha Wade and
Tom Phelan Mystery
  Genre: Gentle Noir / Mystery / Women Sleuths
Date of Publication: August 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 306

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The new novel from award-winning author Lisa Sandlin catches up with the almost-murdered secretary Delpha Wade (The Do-Right, 2015, set in 1973) as she’s released from a hospital in order to be tucked into the back seat of a police cruiser. Her boss, P. I. Tom Phelan, sets out to spring her. He needs her back in his investigation business, where he’ll soon be chasing a skulking grand larcenist and plotting how to keep a ganjapreneur out of the grabby hands of a brand new agency, the D.E.A. Delpha digs through old records and knocks on strange doors to unravel the dangerous case of two brothers with beaucoup aliases—verifying that sometimes truth is not true, but murder is always murder.


Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“What makes this crime novel soar is the humanity and humility of its main characters. It is by turns exciting, tender, suspenseful, observant, and gently funny. Readers will eagerly await the next installment.” 

Booklist, Starred Review
“Sandlin’s sequel soars on the wings of its spot-on evocation of a time and place and its utterly compelling central characters... A first-rate series crying for word-of-mouth support.”

Kirkus, Starred Review
“Proving that anything old can be new in the right, talented hands, Sandlin has crafted an outstanding series that readers will want to follow and savor.”

Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle
"I confess that as a Beaumonster who remembers that city in the early seventies, the book has a special appeal; Sandlin gets so many details just right. But you don't have to have lived there to be captivated by The Bird Boys. Its characters, wit, exquisite prose, and sense of redemption are so richly crafted that they'll stick to most anyone like, well, a shirt to your skin on an August afternoon in Beaumont."

Excerpt: Chapter Six of The Bird Boys
By Lisa Sandlin

HOW’D SHE KNOW how to talk like that? Zulma Barker. Zulma was serving the last weeks of a forty-one month stretch—she’d driven getaway for a toy boyfriend who’d robbed a pharmacy at gunpoint. Maybe because the young man, a would-be model, scurried out with a gym bag of dexedrine, the judge didn’t buy Zulma’s story, that she’d just been idling in her own car while her lover filled a weight-loss prescription for his mother. The prosecution also noted, in her act of aiding and abetting, the use of an alias as a cover up.
Previous to her bad-decision day, Zulma Barker’d been the popular and respectable receptionist for the Beatrice Adcock Agency in Dallas. She got the job once she agreed to use the pseudonym Cynthia, Beatrice nixing “Zulma” as glamorless. The Agency handled a lot of high-strung people. Zulma learned to supply blandishments to pretty and not-pretty-enough girls panting to be models and to fend off their bitchy mothers. She developed the tone and patter to charm pricey designers and the proper worshipful timbre for photographers. This skill had never been any ambition of Zulma’s. She’d just discovered that her day went easier if she turned her voice into Karo syrup. In time, she discovered a disconcerting side-effect: the secret of feeling like she sounded.
Delpha was working a stint in the kitchen then, winter, around the time President Eisenhower left and John Kennedy moved in. Sometimes she had a cut or a burn to nurse, not to mention the blaze in her heart and belly. She lay on the top bunk after the count and lights-out, tolerating Zulma’s farewell tutorial, which, more or less, went like this: You start with a base of welcome. Use their name if they give it to you, but not a lot because that’s phony. They want to explain, you listen. Listen, listen, listen. Agree, like mmm, uh-huhm, I’ll be. Save your breath, don’t over-talk. Apologize when you’re turning them down. Remember, they’re feeling sorry for themselves—so have your sympathy ready to spool out like scotch tape.
“This is phone work,” Zulma said. “But in person, you got all kinds of advantage, hear?”
Delpha said nothing. Zulma knew she was hearing her.
“You got eye contact, however you want to use it. You can touch ‘em. Their hand. Their elbow, you know, nothing too friendly. You be careful about that.”
Zulma had been. Until the would-be model. Profile like James Dean, only his nose was chunkier. But his ears were better. James Dean’d had ears like an elf. “Hey, wanna hear her?”
“Hear who?”
“Thought I was hearing her.”
 “Not full force.”
Delpha hung her head down over the bunk. She held on, her light-brown hair swinging upside down, while Zulma sat up crosslegged, said pleasantly, “Good evening, Beatrice Adcock Agency. ”  She said “Well, hello, Delpha” as to a friend, went on from there with a whole make-believe conversation: complimenting Delpha’s photos but putting her off until the right shoot came up, saying Delpha didn’t have to do a thing, they’d call her. It was all polite. But Zulma’s contralto carried a startling current of connection, like maybe the girl-caller on the phone had a sister somewhere she didn’t know about, and this was her. Smiling, making eye contact, Zulma reached toward the upper bunk. She squeezed Delpha’s fingers, briefly, gently, leaving Delpha with the sensation she’d been promised something nice. A goose pimple or two tingled her arms.
Zulma hadn’t looked like her usual, pinched, forty-six-year-old self. Must have been Cynthia’s smile that had, for a moment, lit up the bottom bunk like a lost moonbeam.
It was three or four years before Delpha really understood why Zulma-Cynthia’s method worked. Wasn’t the pitch of her voice. It was the need of the person she was talking to.

Lisa Sandlin is the author of The Do-Right, winner of the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America and the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers. Her new mystery thriller The Bird Boys is set in 1973 in the same town she was born, Beaumont, Texas. Her previous books are The Famous Thing About Death and Message to the Nurse of Dreams, Cinco Puntos Press; In the River Province, SMU Press; and You Who Make the Sky Bend, Pinyon Publishing.

THREE WINNERS: Choice of eBook or Print Copies of THE BIRD BOYS
August 20-30, 2019
(International - eBooks only)

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar August 19-25, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of August 19-25, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Hub City Comic Con, Lubbock, August 23-25

16th Annual Tulisoma South Dallas Book Fair, August 24

Libros y Autores: Conversing Through Poetry, Houston, August 24

Russian Cultural Center 9th Annual Book Fair, Houston, August 25-30


Blue Willow Bookshop, Dr. Tamara Pizzoli will discuss and sign Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO, 5PM

Richardson Public Library, Writers Guild of Texas workshop: "Metaphors in Prose and Poetry" with Rebecca Balcárcel, 7PM

B&N - Town Square, Jenni Edwards signing Bumping Down HighwaysFrom Boardrooms to Back Roads in an RV, 6PM

BookPeople, Lisa Lutz reading and signing The Swallows, 7PM

Native Hostel, Austin Poetry Slam Indy Championship Slam! (Hosted Jomar Valentin), 7:15PM

Interabang Books, Kimberly King Parsons reading and signing Black Light (in conversation with Chad Miller), 6PM

El Paso
The Black Orchid Lounge, Barbed Wire Open Mic Series, 8PM

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Poetry Open Mic, 8PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Teresa Sabankaya discussing and signing The Posy Book: Garden-Inspired Bouquets That Tell a Story, 5PM

Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, TK Rapp Live Author Takeover!, 7PM

BookPeople, Kimberly King Parsons reading and signing Black Light (in conversation with T. Kira Madden), 7PM

Interabang Books, Rebecca Balcarcel reading and signing The Other Half of Happy, 6PM

Fort Worth
Fort Worth Central Library, Spoken Word, 6PM

Avant Garden, Write About Now: Poetry Slam featuring Eddie V., 7:30PM

Murder By the Book, David Marlett reading and signing American Red, 6:30PM

Pflugerville Library, Fiction Writing Series, Part III: Beyond Cat Scares: Creating Suspense and Terror with author and retired professor Tracey Lander-Garrett, 6PM

B&N - Legacy West, Open-Mic Poetry Night, 7PM

Sugar Land
B&N - First Colony, Local author signing featuring Javaid Laghari and Dr. Stephanie Oguchi, 6PM

Interabang Books, Billy Jensen discussing and signing Chase Darkness With Me, 6PM

Fort Worth
River Crest Country Club, Texas Christian University Press presents an Art of Texas Reception, 4:30PM

Asia Society Texas, Weijian Shan discussing and signing Out of the Gobi: From Mao Zedong's China to the American Dream (in conversation with Martyn E. Goossen), 6:15PM

Murder By the Book, Lisa Lutz reading and signing The Swallows, 6:30PM
Murder By the Book, Billy Jensen discussing and signing Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders (in conversation with Kathryn Casey), 6:30PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Frederick Williams reading and signing Bayard & Martin: A Historical Novel About Friendship and the Civil Rights Movement, 5PM

BookPeople, Author story time: Jean Reidy reading and signing Truman, 10:30AM

Half Price Books - S. Lamar, Keith Rees signing One Night in Bangkok, 1PM

Half Price Books - Southpark Meadows, YA author Warren Haskin signing Metal Spikes and Metal Spikes 2, 1PM

St. Edward's University, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "Forget Discipline: How to Want Your Way Through Writing a Book" with ire'ne lara silva, 10AM

Patrick Heath Public Library, Award-winning author Joe McKinney will meet with the Mysteries for Lunch Book Group, for their 20th anniversary celebration, 2PM

Deep Vellum Books, Rachel Monroe discussing and signing Savage Appetites (in conversation with Skip Hollandsworth), 7PM
B&N - Fountains at Farah, Michelle Hackney and Mia Ortiz signing Mama's Leche, 3PM

El Paso Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "Your Going Out and Your Coming In:  Impressions of Travel Through Creative Writing" with P. W. Covington, 12:45PM

Galveston Bookshop, Whitney Vandiver with her new Galveston historical novel, Oleanders in June, 3PM


B&N - River Oaks, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American book signing with Andrew Seidel, 2PM

14 Pews, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am: artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller examines her life, her works, and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career, 7PM

Brasil Houston, Houston VIP Slam: International World Poetry Slam Qualifier, 7PM

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

Writespace, Workshop: "Novel Pacing: A Hands-On How To" with Mark Haber, 9:30AM

The Original Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware and Boutique, Legendary broadcaster Dave Ward signing his long-awaited memoir, Good Evening, Friends: A Broadcaster Shares His Life, 2PM

Midland College, Permian Basin Bookies One Day Workshop: “World-building Wizardry” with freelance writer, editor, and speaker Pat Hauldren, 9AM

Port Neches
Fleur Fine Books, Meet & Greet with author Stephen Graham Jones, 3PM

San Antonio

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Review: RULE OF CAPTURE by Chris Brown

I reviewed Rule of Capture (Harper Voyager) by Austin's Chris Brown for Lone Star Literary Life! Y'all, this novel is unputdownable. Brown has taken all the dissonant noise and distilled it, then extrapolated to a possible logical endpoint. He may be a witch, but let's hope he's not a soothsayer.

Christopher Brown
Rule of Capture: A Novel
Harper Voyager
Paperback (also available as an e-book, an audiobook, and on audio CD), 978-0-0628-5909-9, 400 pgs., $15.99
August 13, 2019
What happens when the “people with the power and money . . . know democracy is no longer on their side”?
The United States has lost an orbital war with China, and now you need a passport to visit Hawaii—if you can get a passport, that is. Passports are now apps, which can be revoked from D.C. at will. The US is sliding toward another civil war after a controversial election, and the reigning executive is cracking down on dissidents who think dictatorship is a bad idea.

Enter Danny Kimoe, a Houston attorney who takes appointments from the court, doing his hamstrung best to defend these subversives, who are tried by star chamber. His newest client is Xelina Rocafuerte, a young filmmaker who was in the wrong place at the right time. The government suspects she has evidence of an assassination committed by friends of the regime. As Kimoe attempts to free his client from specious charges (propagandist for the insurrection), he finds that another of his cases is tied to Rocafuerte’s and stumbles into a conspiracy that threatens not just his clients, but the entire country.

Christopher Brown’s second novel, Rule of Capture, is set in the world of his first, Tropic of Kansas (Harper Voyager, 2017), a dystopian future of environmental and political catastrophe, the United States broken into warring territories. Rule of Capture is the first in a planned series of legal thrillers, and if this first installment is any indication, I will buy the others the day they appear on shelves, mute my phone, and cancel all appointments for the next couple of days. Rule of Capture is part 1984, part Brave New World, part ripped from the Mueller report, though it transcends the current occupant of the White House. Brown has taken all the dissonant noise and distilled it, then extrapolated to a possible logical endpoint.

Flashback chapters set up the premise, personally regarding Kimoe, nationally, and internationally. It’s not necessary to have read Tropic of Kansas before you pick up Rule of Capture. Brown’s narrative flows seamlessly and efficiently, weaving several subplots into the big picture.

Kimoe is a flawed hero, an every-man with a dry, acerbic wit, though naïve and somehow still trusting. An idealist struggling against the evidence that the promise of the country has not been realized (“The future is not your private property, you little trust fund commandos.”), you’ll want to root for him.

Rule of Capture is also very funny. Sometimes it’s a sly wit: “The Nebraskans of the Platte River plains had taken over many of the corner stores in recent years, relying on kinship networks and the informal credit systems they had brought from back home . . . ”; sometimes a wink and a nod—Mayor Donald Barthelme. It is also educational: the lawyer in Brown provides an exposition on the legal theory of the rule of capture—"the Dred Scott of real estate law.”

Brown’s descriptions are vivid, and he’s quite good at trippy dreamscapes in which Kimoe and James Madison have a few beers around an alley trashcan fire, like “a mix between Federalist No. 43 and a drunk poetry reading.”

Brown’s use of language is clever and smart, while instances of purple prose and pedantic speeches, which would be so easy to do given the material, are few. No detail is too small—read every word: an account user name is gaia_llorona; TV pundits “strafe each other with bullet points”; there are “international disaster capitalists” and “catastrophe bonds, which sounded like complex bets on permutations of apocalypse”; a piano man plays “California Über Alles”; the goal of some dissidents is an “Edenic post-racial eco-Texatopia.”

Brown grabs us with the first sentence: “In the year of the coup, Donny Kimoe spent Monday mornings at the federal courthouse trying to help torture victims remember what happened to them in lockup over the weekend.” And he never lets go, intricately plotting and carefully crafting a just-one-more-chapter page-turner about a future that is all too plausible. Brown may be a witch, but let’s hope he’s not a soothsayer.

Originally published by Lone Star Literary Life.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar August 12-18, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of August 12-18, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Heritage Auctions - Dallas: The Glynn and Suzanne Crain Science Fiction Collection Comics Sale, August 13-14

Literacy First presents the 6th Annual Study Social, Austin, August 16

Texas Sports Hall of Fame 3rd Annual Book Festival, Waco, August 17


Brazos Bookstore, Katherine Center reading and signing Things You Save in a Fire, 6:30PM

BookPeople, Christopher Brown reading and signing Rule of Capture (in conversation with Fernando A. Flores), 7PM

Home Slice Pizza, Austin Bat Cave's Story Department presents "Watch the Queen Conquer," 7:30PM

Native Hostel, Austin Poetry Slam featuring Lyrite Sketch Improv, hosted by Tova Charles, 7:15PM

Palomino Coffee, Living Room Lit with Chicon Street Poets, 7:30PM

Prohibition Creamery, Texas Book Festival's Literary Libations: book discussion with Lit Crawl partners from American Short Fiction, Austin Bat Cave, Black Poets Speak Out, and Chicon Street Poets; TBF Literary Director Julie Wernersbach will give a sneak peek of some of the best and biggest books hitting shelves this fall; featuring literary-themed cocktails, 5:30PM

Cedar Hill
Zula Bryant Wylie Library, Dallas Area Writers Group meeting featuring author Trisha Faye, 7PM

Chocolate Secrets, LitNight Reading Series with Sanderia Faye, 7PM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, food blogger and author Kyndra Holley discussing and signing her latest cookbook, Dairy-Free Keto Cooking, 7PM

El Paso
The Station, Barbed Wire Series Open Mic Night, 8PM

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Poetry Open Mic, 8PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Kristan Higgins reading and signing Life and Other Inconveniences, and Katherine Center reading and signing Things You Save in a Fire, 7PM

Brazos Bookstore, An Evening with local press Anklebiters Publishing: publications will be for sale, featured readers will be curated by Anklebiters Editor in Chief Kalen Rowe and will showcase published Anklebiters authors, followed by a community open mic, 6PM

Murder By the Book, Steve Cavanagh reading and signing Thirteen, 6:30PM

Warehouse Live, the Moth StorySLAM presents "Animals," 7:30PM

Sibley Nature Center, author and photographer Bill Wright presents stories from his most recent book, People’s Lives, 6PM

San Antonio
The Mix, PuroSlam: La Lengua Returns, 9:30PM

BookPeople, Steve Cavanagh reading and signing Thirteen (in conversation with Chandler Baker), 7PM

Interabang Books, Dan Fesperman reading and signing Safe Houses, 6PM

The Wild Detectives, Inner Moonlight: poetry reading with Machele Johnson and Sarah Friday, 7:30PM
Avant Garden, Write About Now: Back to School 1,2,3 Minute Poetry Slam, 7:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Reception and Seedlings zine release with Bayouth Collective and Writers in the Schools, featuring performances by local poets, readings from selected writers published in the zine, and interactive activities, 6:30PM

Murder By the Book, T. Jefferson Parker reading and signing The Last Good Guy, 6:30PM

Austin Book Arts Center, 3rd Thursday Space-y Book Sculpture, 7PM
BookPeople, Writers' League of Texas presents "The Art of Personal Essays" with M. M. (Maude) Adjarian, Charlotte Gullick, and Chaitali Sen, 7PM

BookWoman, ATX Interfaces Reading and Open Mic featuring Thanh Bui, Faylita Hicks, and Heather Lefebvre, 7PM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, Katherine Center reading and signing Things You Save In A Fire, 7PM

Interabang Books, Vicky Skinner reading and signing We Are the Ghosts, 6PM

Fort Worth
Leaves, Writer's Bloc [sic]: As part of the Near Southside’s Third Thursday casual art walk series, Writer’s Bloc [sic] will feature photographic portraits of prominent local writers and writerly quotes from Fort Worth journalists, bloggers, and editors, 6PM

The Wind, The Willow Book Store, Sara Zimmerman signing her debut novel Cliff Jumpers, 6PM
Brazos Bookstore, Alan Paul and Andy Aledort discussing and signing Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan, 6:30PM

San Antonio
McNay Art Museum, Community Conversation: sociologist Mary Robertson, author of Growing up Queer: Kids and the Remaking of LGBTQ Identity, will moderate this program, 6:30PM

Texian Books, Meet and greet with Charlie Kouba, who will sign Still Crazy: The Adventure of a Lifetime (all proceeds go to Camp Rainbow, a summer camp for those living with Type 1 diabetes), 5:30PM

Front Street Books, Jody Ginn discussing and signing East Texas Troubles, 6PM

BookPeople, Katherine Center reading and signing Things You Save in a Fire, 7PM

Waterloo Records & Video, Brian T. Atkinson launches The Messenger: The Songwriting Legacy of Ray Wylie Hubbard, 5PM

Heroes Lounge, Dallas Poetry Slam: 2019 Individual World Poetry Slam qualifier slam, 8PM

Interabang Books, Alan Paul and Andy Aledor discussing and signing Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan, 6PM

Brazos Bookstore, Jia Tolentino discussing and signing Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, 6:30PM

B&N - Arboretum, Daniel Duke signing Jesse James and The Lost Templar Treasure, 2PM

BookPeople, Austin SCBWI Monthly Meeting: "An Unlikely Path to Publication" with author Xelena Gonzalez and illustrator Adriana Garcia, 10AM

BookPeople, Alan Paul and Andy Aledort discussing and signing Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan, 2PM
BookPeople, David Marlett reading and signing American Red, 5PM

Malvern Books, Women in Translation Month celebration with readings and discussion from award-winning poet and acclaimed Spanish translator Liliana Valenzuela, who will read from Puro Amor by Sandra Cisneros, and Marian Schwartz, who translates Russian classic and contemporary fiction, history, biography, criticism, and fine art, will read from The Man Who Couldn’t Die: The Tale of an Authentic Human Being by Olga Slavnikova, 7PM

2nd & Charles, Local Author Celebration: Erica Babino discussing and signing Rolling into Peace: Speaking in Green and the upcoming Petey Peacemakers: Speaking in Green, 12PM

B&N - Lincoln Park, Meet Genie Massey, author of Murdered Without Cause, 1PM

Interabang Books, M.G. Velasco reading and signing Cardslinger, 1PM [kids event]

Lucky Dog Books - Oak Cliff, Local seventeen-year-old author Thomas Venters reading and signing Crooked, 1PM

Meadows Conference Center, Dallas Area Writers Group Summer Writing Series Workshop 3: - "Want to Write a Children's Book?" with Janee Trasler, 9AM

Pan African Connection, The PH Balance Open-Mic, 6:30PM

El Paso
B&N - River Oaks, RJ Nevens signing Walking Point, 11AM

B&N - River Oaks, Neil Bockoven signing Moctu and the Mammoth People, 2PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, First annual Bookstore Romance Day, all day [cocktails at 4PM]

Blue Willow Bookshop, Angelique Jamail reading and signing her new book of poetry, The Sharp Edges of Water, 3PM

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

Katy Budget Books, First annual Bookstore Romance Day with Sara K. Parker signing Security Measures, 1PM

Murder By the Book, C.J. Box reading and signing The Bitter Roots, 4:30PM

Visionary Heights, A reading, party, and celebration of The Ocotilo Review, plus poets and writers may submit their work directly to staff on-site, 7PM

Writespace, Workshop: "Writing Intense Emotion Without Melodrama" with Onyinye Ihezukwu, 1PM

Cultura Beer Garden, Laredo Border Slam meeting and elections, 3PM

San Antonio
B&N - La Cantera, Meet Rolf Stibbe, author of The Isle of the Dragon, 2PM

B&N - La Cantera, Thank You for My Service book discussion and signing with Mat Best, 5PM

San Antonio Central Library, FlowerSong Books Showcase: Gemini Ink presents FlowerSong Books' Small Press Showcase, featuring Reyes Cardenas, Gris Munoz, Daniel Garcia Ordaz, Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros, jo reyes-boitel, Eddie Vega, and FSB publisher Edward Vidaurre, 2PM

The Cherrity Bar, Puroslam and the Circle School present a Saturday night poetry slam, 7PM

The Twig Book Shop, Dr. Jay Smith signing The Adventures of Chewy the Chihuahua and Her Sidekick Cupcake, 11AM

B&N - Town Square, Lisa Lynn book signing, 1PM

B&N, Fred Wiesen signing Jesus in His Glory, 1PM

The Woodlands
B&N, Dr. Lynette Louise (aka The Brain Broad) book signing, 1PM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, Dallas native T.F. Hanlon signing his self-help book, The Final Pattern: The Critical Need for Critical Thinking, and Dallas native Deanna King signing her mystery, Twist of Fate, 1PM

El Paso
B&N - Fountains at Farah, Teresa Sabankaya discussing and signing The Posy Book, 2PM

Brazos Bookstore, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail reading and signing Alis the Aviator, 3PM [kids event]

Writespace, Workshop: "Poetry: How Form Informs Meaning" with Dr. Cynthia Childress, 3PM

B&N - Palms Crossing, Meet Jaime Farias & Cristina Farias, authors of The Money Funnel System: The Common Sense Guide to Financial Organization, 2PM

New Braunfels
The Book Haus, BYOP (Bring Your Own Poetry), 4PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Dr. Tamara Pizzoli signing Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO, 12PM

The Twig Book Shop, Katherine Center reading and signing Things You Save in a Fire, 5PM

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Excerpt & Giveaway: DRAGONFLY by Leila Meacham

  Genre: Historical / WWII / Espionage
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Date of Publication: July 9, 2019
Number of Pages: 576

Scroll down for giveaway!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Roses comes a gripping new novel about five young spies embedded among the highest Nazi ranks in occupied Paris

At the height of World War II, a handful of idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the government, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds-a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer-all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of her or his own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly. 

Thus begins a dramatic cat-and-mouse game, as the group seeks to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?


“Meacham’s impeccable pacing and razor-wire tension evoke the daily drama of life under a Reich whose French reign might have lasted little more than four years but felt like the thousand years that it threatened to endure.” ―Bookpage

"Meacham's nail-biting tale will please fans looking for an intricate story of spycraft and deception." ―Publishers Weekly

"Meacham ratchets the suspense ever tighter, while providing fascinating backstory on the intrepid five [American spies] as well as delivering a detail-rich portrait of Paris during the Occupation." ―Booklist

"Complex, epic, and rich in historical detail-an uplifting story of finding friendship behind enemy lines." ― Kirkus

Amazon ◆ Barnes & Noble   
  Indiebound     Walmart  ◆   

Excerpt from Chapter Sixty-Eight
of Dragonfly
By Leila Meacham

As the month edged into December and the year drew to a close, heavy snow began to fall in Paris, cloaking the city in an endless dreamscape of white, sculpting even trash in the gutters into fantastical monuments of artistic wizardry, the glacial silence of the blanketed streets so deep that a mere cough sounded like a small explosion.

Parisians would have found the fairyland of snow-draped trees and downy roof tops, icicle-studded eaves, and lacy windowpanes a beautiful setting for the celebration of Christmas but for the rumble of German trucks transporting weapons and soldiers and the disturbance of bull horns blaring German propaganda, oompah music, and the day’s orders to the population.  The presence of the Germans hung like a fog of pollution over the city, and hatred for the occupiers increased by the day as their restrictions against French citizens tightened, reprisals for the Resistance’s actions grew more frequent, and the hunt for food and fuel to stave off starvation and hypothermia became more desperate.  Only necessity drove the conquered out to the streets from the dubious safety and warmth of their homes.

Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the bestselling novels Roses, Tumbleweeds, Somerset, and Titans.

August 7-17, 2019
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BONUS Audio Review
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Author Interview
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