Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar for Oct 25-Nov 1, 2020

   

 

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of October 25-November 1, 2020, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life. 

Special events this week include the South Texas Book Festival, Texas Teen Book Festival, the 25th annual Texas Book Festival, and the 48th annual Jewish Book & Arts Festival of Houston. 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, October 25, 2020

Lone Star Literary Life - October 25, 2020

 

 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! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Excerpt & Giveaway: NORTH TO ALASKA

NORTH TO ALASKA
The Memoirs of H. H. Lomax, #6 
by
PRESTON LEWIS

Genre: Historical Fiction / Western / Humor 
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing 
Date of Publication: August 5, 2020
Number of Pages: 414

Scroll down for the giveaway!


WEALTH AND FAME IN THE WILD WEST ARE WHAT LOMAX SEEKS . . . HIS OWN BAD LUCK IS WHAT STANDS IN HIS WAY. 

Swindled out of a mining fortune in Colorado and blamed for an ensuing murder, H. H. Lomax two decades later must finally face up to his past in Skagway, Alaska. Along the way, he encounters legendary madam Mattie Silks, suffragist Susan B. Anthony, novelist Jack London, and a talking dog. 

To survive his previous missteps and avoid a prison sentence for theft, Lomax must outshoot infamous Western conman Soapy Smith, outwit an unrelenting Wells Fargo investigator, and outrun Shotgun Jake Townsend, the greatest frontier assassin who never was.







CLICK TO PURCHASE 




Excerpt from North to Alaska by Preston Lewis 

            Shooting a man in the back was frowned upon in the old days, though sometimes you lacked a more honorable option to survive a vendetta. Over the years, I was blamed for one back-shooting I didn’t commit and never got credit for dispatching the one crook I did shoot from behind. Now I’m not complaining, and I’m not saying I’m proud of all the choices I made with a gun, but I never marched around boasting about my killings or defacing my pistol with notches on the grips or scratches on the barrel to represent the men I’d put in a grave.  Some fellows bragged so much about all their enemies they had dispatched that if they’d carved or scratched notches in their weapons for every fellow they claimed to have killed, all they’d been left with was a pile of splinters or metal shavings instead of a revolver. 

            No, sir, I never bragged about those things because you seldom knew when a lawman might be eavesdropping on such arrogance, intending to avenge the death of some hombre that likely needed an express ticket to hell to begin with.  Nor did I claim to be a shootist as I didn’t want a reputation that would dishonor my momma and her teachings, as she was a Godly woman who believed in the Good Book. Even if I was her prodigal son, she’d have been humiliated by me breaking the Fifth Commandment and shooting another human being in the back. The odd thing about the two times I was involved in back-shooting incidents, though, is that they were both related, despite coming some two decades and twenty-five hundred miles apart. 

            And making matters worse, both instances happened because of an insect bite.  Yep, I’d gotten severely bitten by the gold bug twice on the frontier, winding up first in Colorado and later in Alaska, which was colder than a suffragist’s heart. I should know because during my Leadville, Colorado, stint I encountered Susan B. Anthony, who opened my eyes to how mean a woman could be.  I much preferred the sugar and vice of Mattie Silks and her soiled doves in Denver to Anthony’s dire and brimstone over the plight of women in the newest state and the other thirty-seven.  Those were raucous days when Colorado had first joined the Union, and the suffragists attacked the God-given rights of the male citizens of the new state. 

            As misguided as Susan B. Anthony might have been, she was halfway honest, unlike the most despicable fellow that ever trod upon the plains or mountains of Colorado—Jefferson Randolph Smith the Second.  Known as Jeff when I first met him, but later as “Soapy,” he was crookeder than a barrel full of rattlesnakes and twice as mean.  What he lacked in integrity, he more than made up for in cleverness as he could’ve swindled Satan out of his horns, tail and pitchfork without the devil ever knowing what had transpired. He possessed enough charm that shills and hooligans attached to him like metal shavings to a magnet so you always had to be careful in any town that Soapy worked because his ruffians were on the lookout for anyone they might defraud or scam.  Such tricks played out best in mining towns where everyone was looking for a quick buck and sudden riches.  




Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of thirty novels. In addition to his two Western Writers of America Spurs, he received the 2018 Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Western Humor for Bluster’s Last Stand, the fourth volume in his comic western series, The Memoirs of H. H. Lomax. Two other books in that series were Spur finalists. His comic western The Fleecing of Fort Griffin received the Elmer Kelton Award from the West Texas Historical Association for best creative work on the region.


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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: 1ST PRIZE: Signed copies of North to Alaska and First Herd to Abilene2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of North to Alaska.
OCTOBER 20-30, 2020
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:

10/20/20

Excerpt

Texas Book Lover

10/20/20

BONUS Post

Hall Ways Blog

10/21/20

Review

Max Knight

10/22/20

Character Interview

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/23/20

Review

Forgotten Winds

10/24/20

Series Spotlight

All the Ups and Downs

10/25/20

Author Interview

Reading by Moonlight

10/26/20

Review

Book Bustle

10/27/20

Review

It's Not All Gravy

10/28/20

Scrapbook Page

StoreyBook Reviews

10/29/20

Review

The Clueless Gent



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Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Oct 18-25, 2020

  

 

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of October 18-25, 2020, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life. 

Special events this week include the O. Henry Pun-Off, Tweens Read, the National Black Book Festival, and Houston's Indiepalooza. 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, October 12, 2020

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar, Oct 11-18, 2020

  

 

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of October 11-18, 2020, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life. 

Special events this week include the Mid-Cities Teen Book Fest, 20th Inkstravaganza, the O. Henry Pun-Off, and two romance showcases. 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.    


Friday, October 9, 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway: SAVING IRENE


SAVING IRENE
A Culinary Mystery
By JUDY ALTER

Cozy Mystery / Women Sleuths 
Publisher: Alter Ego Press
Date of Publication: September 10, 2020
Number of Pages: 208

Scroll down for the giveaway!


Irene Foxglove wishes she were a French chef. Henrietta James, her assistant, knows she is nothing more than a small-time TV chef on a local Chicago channel. And yet when Irene is threatened, Henny tries desperately to save her, wishing always that “Madame” would tell her the truth—about her marriage, her spoiled daughter, her days in France, the man who threatens her. Henny’s best friend, the gay guy who lives next door, teases her, encourages her—and maybe loves her from afar. Murder, kidnapping, and some French gossip complicate this mystery, set in Chicago and redolent with the aroma of fine food. Recipes included.

PRAISE FOR SAVING IRENE

“A nicely convoluted murder mystery and a glorification of America's diverse cuisines, played out against the attractions of a lovingly drawn Chicago.”—Fred Erisman, In Their Own Words: Forgotten Women Pilots of Early Aviation 

“You'll find yourself cheering for Henny James as she works beyond her job description as prep assistant to save her boss, Irene Foxglove, glamorous local French-ish TV chef.”—Kaye George, Deadly Sweet Tooth (Vintage Sweets Mysteries Book 2)

“Get lost in the beauty of Chicago and the intrigue of a Texas girl making her way in the world . . . You won’t see the end coming.”—Mary Dulle, avid cozy fan

CLICK TO PURCHASE






After an award-winning career writing historical fiction about women of the nineteenth-century American West, Judy Alter turned her attention to contemporary cozy mysteries: the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries and Blue Plate Café Mysteries. Her avocation is cooking, and she is the author of Cooking My Way Through Life with Kids and Books, Gourmet on a Hot Plate, and Texas is Chili Country

Born in Chicago, she has made her home in Fort Worth for over fifty years. Judy is also a proud Scot, a member of Clan MacBean. One trip to the Highlands convinced her that is where her heart is, and she longs to write a novel set in Scotland.

Judy is an active member of Sisters in Crime, Guppies, Story Circle Network, Women Writing the West, and the Texas Institute of Letters. When she is not writing, she is busy with seven grandchildren and a lively poodle/border collie cross.

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THREE WINNERS: Autographed paperback copies of Saving Irene. 
October 9-16, 2020 
(US ONLY)
 a Rafflecopter giveaway


CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR.


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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Excerpt & Giveaway: LOW WATER CROSSING


LOW WATER CROSSING
Book Two of the Sulfur Gap Series
by
DANA GLOSSBRENNER

Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga 
Independently published
Date of Publication: July 19, 2020
Number of Pages: 476

  Scroll down for the giveaway!


Low Water Crossing is a tribute to those who endure heartache and nevertheless celebrate, to those who wait—and live full lives while waiting.

A backhoe unearths a human skeleton buried on Wayne Cheadham’s West Texas ranch. The investigation points a grisly finger at Wayne’s first wife. And so begins the wild ride through twenty-five years of love and heartbreak. 

Wayne’s a highly eligible bachelor who runs into trouble, first because he’s naïve, and next because, well, life is unpredictable. He’s a loveable guy with a peaceful outlook. Just about anyone wants the best for him, dang it. To cope with sadness, he arranges for an old steel-girded bridge to be placed in the dry pasture in front of his house. Says it helps him adjust his perspective. Others say it’s the world’s largest yard ornament. He takes in stray emus and abandoned horses and becomes a mentor to a loveable little boy without much family. He sits and ponders his plight at a low-water crossing over the creek.

A cast of characters from the fictional small West Texas town of Sulfur Gap
the staff of a high school burger shop hangout on the Interstate, coffee groups at the Navaho Café, hair stylists from the Wild Hare, a local sheriff and his deputies, and the band at the local honky-tonkknits together the community surrounding Wayne, and all bring their own quirks. People you’d find anywhere, some with thicker Texas twangs than others. 

The town, the ranch, and familiar Texas cities such as San Angelo, Abilene, and Austin provide a backdrop for universal themes of love, grief, and loyalty.
                          
CLICK TO PURCHASE



Prologue—A Skeleton Arm, 2013

Excerpt from Low Water Crossing

by Dana Glossbrenner

 

Junior lurches in his cab and kills the engine. He pushes back his cap and stares at what dangles from the scoop of dirt—a skeletal arm dressed in tattered plaid, waving its bone fingers in the stiff West Texas breeze. My sweet sense of peace at the prospect of easy money evaporates.

“Oh, hell!” I jump from my truck, and Junior slams from his cab, both of us mouthing curses, our minds locked on the sight of that decaying piece of a human. He saws his arms to catch the attention of the dozer operators and truck drivers. He whistles to his father, Tuna, the foreman. When I signed the contract with their company to sell rock, I joked about their names—Junior and Tuna Berger. But now, they remind me of how ludicrous it was to hope for a hands-off source of income on the Cheadham ranch. No oil wells. No wind turbines. Is it too much to ask to have a gravel pit without a skeleton?

Tuna inspects the chugging gravel sorter. He straightens at Junior’s whistle and fixes his eyes on the scoop, dangling the arm. Big trucks, other excavators and dozers—they all stop. Men climb from their cabs and jog to join me and Junior. In the sudden quiet, we stare at the limp arm. Tuna mutters as he reaches for his phone. He starts toward us as he makes a call.

“This is bad, Wayne.” He barely looks at me as he meets us and puts his phone in its belt case. “Looks like we’re gonna have ta suspend work awhile. We’ve found human remains.”

“Have you ever seen the likes of this?” I remind myself it’s not like we’ll lose the ranch if the gravel pit doesn’t pan out. After all, this is somebody’s unofficial grave. We walk to the hole left by Junior’s excavator scoop.

 “Nope. I’ve dug up all kinds of stuff in my days, but I ain’t never found no skeleton. Oh, man, look there.” A skull grins up at us from a layer of rock.

“Damn. Could it be Indian remains?” I forget the shreds of plaid shirt and ponder for a moment. The Smithsonian might be interested, a desperate wish. Better an archaeological dig than a crime scene.

Tuna’s quick to disabuse me of the idea. “Naw. It’s not that old. We have to notify law enforcement, which is what I done. Sheriff Sparks is on his way.”

“Oh, great.” I try not to look too irritated.

We stand around and try to change the subject to weather, sports, anything but speculation about the skeleton. If we’d simply heard about it, we’d be all over the subject, but standing over a deal like this, we don’t have much to say. Within minutes, the cruiser bumps through the cattle guard and stops inside the fence. I turn away and shoot some bull with Junior. “This is an odd day of work, isn’t it?”

“Oh yeah. Some find.” He cuts his eyes at the skeleton arm. I wonder for a moment if he’s about to cross himself.

“How’d you manage to stop so quick?” I ask.

Before he can answer, L.B. strides into our group, hitching his belt and resting his hands on his gear. His hat brim’s as wide as his skinny shoulders.

“Howdy, Sheriff.” Tuna offers his hand.

“It was hard to miss, Wayne,” Junior says. “I looked up and saw a dried-up arm dangling. When you see something like that, you stop what you’re doing purdy durn fast.”

L.B. takes over. “So, there’s been no other disturbance?”

“Naw,” Junior says.

The sheriff looks down at the skull. “We’ll have to get some investigators from Austin in here. And y’all have to stop digging.”

“How long ya think it’ll take, L.B?” I ask.

“Looks like somebody intended to bury a body, so it’ll be a homicide investigation. Might take a month or two.”

“Aw, shit!” I slap my cap on my leg. The oil deposits are too deep in hard rock for drilling to make a profit, and a big wind farm butts up to my east property line. Damn and double damn. No oil, no wind turbines. And now this. A month-long shutdown will probably put me out of the gravel business. Tuna will have to relocate. He’ll lose money, too.

“I’ll have all this taped off, so don’t tamper with anything, Wayne.” L.B. steps toward me but rocks back like he intended to shift his weight. I walk to my truck and head off before I say something I’ll regret, or maybe push L.B. in with the skeleton and kick in some dirt after him.






Dana Glossbrenner has lived in West Texas all her life. She is the author of Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers (non-fiction) and The Lark: Book 1 of the Sulfur Gap Series.




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-------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: 1st winner gets signed copies of both books in the Sulfur Gap Series; 2nd winner gets a signed copy of Low Water Crossing. 
 October 6-16 , 2020
(U.S. Only)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:

10/6/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

10/7/20

Excerpt

Texas Book Lover

10/7/20

BONUS Post

Hall Ways Blog

10/8/20

Playlist

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/9/20

Review

Bibliotica

10/10/20

Deleted Scene

All the Ups and Downs

10/11/20

Author Interview

The Page Unbound

10/12/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/13/20

Scrapbook Page

Max Knight

10/14/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

10/15/20

Review

The Clueless Gent



   
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