Saturday, October 31, 2015

Promo: HARD FALLS by Elizabeth A Garcia



Elizabeth A Garcia

Genre: Mystery
Author: Elizabeth A. Garcia
Publisher: Mountain Press
Release Date: October 15, 2015
#of pages: 378

It's March in Terlingua and the weather is playing games—icy one day and warmish a few days later. But the weather is not the problem.

The trouble begins with a Photoshopped picture of Deputy Ricos and Sheriff Ben that makes an innocent encounter look like something it's not. Someone is making a problem where none exists. Why?

Mix in the brutal murder of quiet man "everyone likes," a young, green-eyed deputy trainee, a wealthy, mysterious newcomer to Alpine, a prostitute from Mexico, and a local ranch where it appears something "wrong" is happening. Then stir in a cast of characters you will swear you know, hillsides purplish with bluebonnets, and the never-changing/always changing mountains of South Brewster County.

Award-winning author Elizabeth A. Garcia has lived for more than thirty years in the Big Bend country of far west Texas. She has hiked, rafted, explored, and earned a living in this wild desert-mountain land near the Rio Grande, on the border of the United States and Mexico.

It was experiencing the deep canyons, creosote-covered bajadas, and stark, jagged mountains, and the wide-open spaces and dark, starry nights that eventually brought her to writing.

She tells her fans, "I have loved to write since I was a child. As I grew up I never made much time for it.  I was busy raising a family and running a company.  Once I started writing I realized how many stories have been stockpiled in my brain.  I'm getting them out as fast as I can."

Her first novel, "One Bloody Shirt at a Time," won "Best Crime Novel of the Year" from the Texas Association of Authors for 2013. It was her first novel, but not her first written story. For several years Ms. Garcia’s short stories were published by the Big Bend Gazette.

In addition to novels and other stories, Ms. Garcia writes a blog on this site.  In the past she has shared her blog with the Alpine Avalanche and later with the Daily Planet. She loves to describe and write about west Texas and continues to live there.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review: NORTH BEACH by Miles Arceneaux

My review of North Beach by Miles Arceneaux was published in Lone Star Literary Life! From the
“Okay . . . . What’s the worst that could happen?”
Johnny flashed me a quick smile and started the car. “The Sweetwater family motto.”
The triumvirate that is Miles Arceneaux — Brent Douglass, John T. Davis, and James R. Dennis — are back with North Beach, the fourth story about the Sweetwater clan in their series of crime novels that have been christened Gulf Coast noir. North Beach is a coming-of-age story of the next generation of Sweetwaters.

With North Beach, set in the summer of 1962, Arceneaux again proves masterful at evoking atmosphere and recreating a particular time and place. We are immersed in that year: the Space Race, Cuban embargo, fallout shelters, the Beach Boys, paranoia, and virulent racism. North Beach proves the truism that the more things change, the more they stay the same, as some of its historical elements remain relevant today.

To read the entire review please click here. Thank you!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Welcome Suriname!

This morning it is my privilege to welcome readers in Suriname to TexasBookLover. Welkom! 

Monday Roundup: October 26 - November 1

Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 26 - November 1, 2015: 

Special Events:
The Edgar Allan Poe Victorian Festival (OkPoeberfest), Dallas, October 3 - 31

Gabriel García Márquez: His Life and Legacy Symposium, Austin, October 28 - 30

East Texas Christian Writers Conference, Marshall, October 30 - 31

International Literature Festival, Houston, October 30 - 31

Wizard World Comic Con, Austin, October 30 - 31

Halloween ComicFest 2015, Houston, October 31

Ann & Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair, Houston, November 1 - 15

NaNoWriMo, November 1 - 30

Voces Americanas: Latino Literature in the United States, Wichita Falls, November 1 - December 1

Houston Museum of Natural Science Distinguished Lecture Series: Marilyn Johnson discusses and signs Lives in Ruins: Archeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble, 6:30PM

Houston Museum of Natural Science, HMNS Distinguished Lecture Series: , 6:30PM

Katy Budget Books, Happy Hallow-Teen Event with Gena Showalter, Kady Cross, and Amy Lukavics + costume contest and snacks, 6PM

Lawndale Art Center, 28th Annual Dia de los Muertas: ROCO Connections: Musical and Literary Ofrenda, 5:30PM

Legacy Lounge - UH, Glass Mountain presents the HalloReading,7PM

B&N - Vista Ridge, 20-Year Anniversary Celebration!, 7PM

Mahon Library, Michelle Newby presents "How to Get Your Book Reviewed" to the Caprock Writers' Alliance, 7PM

San Antonio

Aaron Family JCC, Ronald Balson will discuss Saving Sophie, 7PM

Kettle Arts Gallery, Pegasus Reading Series featuring Joe Milazzo, Jill Talbot, and Kathleen Winter, 8PM

University of North Texas, UNT Visiting Writers Series presents a reading and book signing by Claire Vaye Watkins, 8PM


Holocaust Museum Houston, Richard Breitman lectures from FDR and the Jews, 6:30PM

Murder By the Book, Lisa Scottoline will sign and discuss Corrupted, 6:30PM

San Antonio
Our Lady of the Lake University, Owen Lewis reads from Best Man at the inaugural event of the Social Justice Reading Series, 7:30PM

Thursday, October 29:

Jackson Fine Art & Antiques Gallery, David K. Langford presents Fog at Hillingdon, 5PM

Poison Girl Bar, Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Kathleen Winter, 8:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Angela Williams discusses and signs Hush Now, Baby, 5PM

West University Community Center, Chris Tomlinson discusses Tomlinson Hill, 6:30PM

Texas Tech English Auditorium, Creative Writing Program Reading Series presents Merritt Tierce, 7:30PM

San Antonio
Friday, October 30:
Malvern Books, Chaitali Sen Book Launch for The Pathless Sky, 7PM

Bath House Cultural Center, storytelling for teens and adults: Ghosts, 7PM

El Paso
The Grooovy Smoothie Café, ForWord Volume III Chapbook release party, 7PM

Brazos Bookstore, The Gulf Coast Reading Series, 7PM

Katy Budget Books, C. C. Hunter discusses and signs Unspoken, 6PM

Writespace, Frightspace Open Mic & Contest, 7:30PM

Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, Texas State presents: Lydia Davis, 7:30PM

San Antonio
B&N - Northwoods, Halloween Author Signing: Demonic Visions Horror Tales, 7PM

All Hallows' Eve:
Bath House Cultural Center, storytelling for children: Ghosts, 2PM

Bath House Cultural Center, storytelling for teens and adults: Ghosts, 7PM

El Paso
Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: Day of the Dead/ Día de los Muertos with Raquel Mejia ,12:45PM

Fort Worth

Dia de los Muertos:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Highlights from the 20th TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL

A few photos from the 20th annual Texas Book Festival, held in Austin, October 17-18, 2015. Such fun!

With Jeff Guinn, author of Buffalo Trail

I had the honor of moderating The Wild, Wild West Panel with Jeff  Guinn.

With Margaret Atwood, author of The Heart Goes Last

With Sandra  Cisneros, author of A House of My Own

Margaret Atwood in the House! Literally. The Texas State House Chamber.

With Keija Parssinen, author of The Unraveling of Mercy Louis

In the book signing tent with Sandra Cisneros, whose line of fans snaked all the way around the tent, twice.

Finally got to meet Keija Parssinen (and her mom) in person! The Unraveling of Mercy Louis is one of my favorite books of the year.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: THE SPIRIT BIRD by Kent Nelson

My review of The Spirit Bird: Stories (University of Pittsburgh Press) by Kent Nelson, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, was published in the new edition of  High Country News. From the review:
The Spirit Bird: Stories, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, is Kent Nelson’s latest collection of short fiction. Nelson’s stories feature diverse protagonists — a young single mother, a rabble-rousing Southern lawyer, a restless empty-nester — as well as an unusually vivid sense of place — the chile fields of New Mexico, the resort towns of Colorado, suburban Seattle — that establishes the land as an essential character in the stories. The people in Spirit Bird are trying to break out of their lives, and they share one major trait: dissatisfaction. They’re exploring, pushing boundaries, looking seriously at their own lives and asking, “Really? What now?”
To read the entire review, please click here. Thank you!

Monday, October 19, 2015


Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours 


Judy Alter

Texans love to eat, and one dish they can’t get enough of is chili—so much so that chili con carne is Texas’s state meal. This seemingly simple staple of Texan identity proves to be anything but, however. Beans or no beans? Beef, pork, or turkey? From a can or from scratch?

Texas Is Chili Country is a brief look at the favored fare—its colorful history, its many incarnations, and the ways it has spread both across the country and the world. The history includes chuckwagon chili, the chili queens of San Antonio, the first attempts at canned chili, the development of chili societies and the subsequent rivalries between them, and the rise of chili cook-offs.

And what would a book about chili be without recipes? There are no-fat recipes, vegan recipes, and recipes from Mexican-American cooks who have adapted this purely American food. Some have been tried, but many are taken on faith. Recipes are included from state celebrities such as Ladybird Johnson, Governor Ma Ferguson, and chili king Frank Tolbert.


Judy Alter retired from Texas Christian University Press after thirty years, twenty of them as director. At the same time she developed her own writing career, focusing primarily on women of the American West. Now she writes fiction and nonfiction for all ages. She lives in Fort Worth.

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Monday Roundup: October 19 - 25

Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 19 - 25, 2015: 

Special Events:
The Edgar Allan Poe Victorian Festival (OkPoeberfest), Dallas, October 3 - 31

National Black Book Festival, Houston, October 22 - 24

ReadFest Houston, October 22 - 24

Murder By the Book, Bonnie MacBird will sign and discuss Art in the Blood, 6:30PM

Irving Public Library - South, Middle Grade Mania with four children's authors: Polly Holyoke (The Neptune Challenge), Jennifer Ziegler (Revenge of the Angels), Jeramey Kraatz (The Cloak Society) & Kate Hannigan (The Detective's Assistant), 7PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Jeff Guinn reads and signs Buffalo Trail: A Novel of the American West, 6PM

B&N, A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties book signing with Dr Ben Carson, 7:30PM

Tuesday, October 20:

Dallas Public Library - Lakewood, local author and storyteller Rose-Mary Rumbley’s presentation, “The History of Traveling Around Dallas,” 2PM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, Middle-Grade Books: Five Authors in Discussion with Kate Hannigan (The Detective’s Assistant, Cupcake Cousins series),Karen Harrington (Sure Signs of Crazy, Courage for Beginners), Polly Holyoke (The Neptune Project, The Neptune Challenge), Jeramey Kraatz (The Cloak Society trilogy) and Jennifer Ziegler (Revenge of the Flower Girl, Revenge of the Angels), 6:30PM

The Wild Detectives, Kaylie Jones presents Anger Meridian and Jason Carney presents Starve the Vulture, 7:30PM

Fort Worth
Brazos Bookstore, Margaret Dean Lazarus discusses and signs LEAVING ORBIT, 7PM

Houston Museum of Natural Science, HMNS Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Zahi Hawass lectures from and signs Pyramids: Treasures, Mysteries, and New Discoveries in Egypt, 6:30PM

Thursday, October 22:

UT Fine Arts Library, "Crosstalk" faculty book reading, 6PM

Fort Worth Public Library - Southwest, Wordslingers Author Series 2015 presents Taylor Stevens, 6:30PM


Wimberley Community Center, Terry Thompson-Anderson cooking demonstration & tasting followed by a book signing, 1PM

Saturday, October 24:

Galveston Bookshop, William Merrell signs Henry Sampson and the Great Galveston Storm, 2PM

B&N - Firewheel Mall, Reavis Z. Wortham signs Dark Places, a Red River Mystery, 1PM

Grand Prairie
Grand Prairie Main Library, Tui Snider (Paranormal Texas) will discuss “Haunted Hotspots of DFW”, 2PM

B&N - River Oaks, Author Signing Karen Pugh and Linda Fagala: Destiny Reborn, 2PM

B&N - Vanderbilt Square, George Arnold signing Beijing Ding-a-Ling: Mao of the CIA, 10AM
B&N - Palms Crossing, Meet the Author: Lucia Capaccione, Ph.D.: The Creative Journal, 2PM

Round Rock

Half Price Books - N Central, Andy Peloquin will sell and sign Blade the Destroyer: The Last Bucelarii Book I, 1PM

The Woodlands
B&N, Robert Shearer signs Swift, 2PM

Sunday, October 25:
BookPeople, Special Sunday Afternoon Storytime! LIZ GARTON SCANLON & SUSAN KRALOVANSKY reading & signing In the Canyon (Scanlon) & Twelve Cowboys Ropin' (Kralovansky), 2PM

BookPeople, Poet & Visual Artist ANIS MOJGANI speaking & signing The Pocketknife Bible: The Poems and Art of Anis Mojgani, 6PM

Malvern Books, E. Kristin Anderson Book Launch for Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night, 4PM

1892 Bishop's Place, Kenneth Hafertepe lectures from and signs A Guide to the Historic Buildings of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County, 1PM

B&N - Vanderbilt Square, George Arnold signing Beijing Ding-a-Ling: Mao of the CIA, 10AM

Community Artists' Collective, The Healing of a Broken Spirit - Book Signing with author Akua Fayette, 1PM

Irving Public Library: Valley Ranch, Author Workshop with Amanda Arista, 2PM

Sunday, October 18, 2015




Carlos Nicolás Flores

TITLE: Sex as a Political Condition
AUTHOR: Carlos Nicolás Flores
GENRE: Literary Fiction: Political Satire
# of pages: 408

Follow the tour

Oct 18  Texas Book Lover Guest Post or promo

Oct 19  Missus Gonzo promo

Oct 20  The Crazy Booksellers promo

Oct 21  Hall Ways promo

Oct 22  The Librarian Talks Guest Post

Oct 24  Texas Book-aholic promo

Oct 27  My Book Fix Author Q&A

Oct 28  Book Crazy Gals review

Oct 30  Hall Ways review 

Oct 31  MissusGonzo review

Sex as a Political Condition: A Border Novel is a raucous, hilarious journey through political dangers that come in all shapes, cup sizes, and sexual identities, a trip into the wild, sometimes outrageous world of the Texas-Mexico border and all geographical and anatomical points south.

Honoré del Castillo runs the family curio shop in the backwater border town of Escandón, Texas, and fears dying in front of his TV like some six-pack José in his barrio. Encouraged by his friend Trotsky, he becomes politically active—smuggling refugees, airlifting guns to Mexican revolutionaries, negotiating with radical Chicana lesbians—but the naked truths he faces are more often naked than true and constantly threaten to unman him. When a convoy loaded with humanitarian aid bound for Nicaragua pulls into Escandón, his journey to becoming a true revolutionary hero begins, first on Escandón’s international bridge and then on the highways of Mexico. But not until both the convoy and Honoré’s mortality and manhood are threatened in Guatemala does he finally confront the complications of his love for his wife and daughter, his political principles, the stench of human fear, and ultimately what it means to be a principled man in a screwed-up world.



A native of El Paso, Carlos Nicolas Flores is a winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize and author of a young adult novel, Our House on Hueco (TTUP, 2006). As a director of the Teatro Chicano de Laredo and a former director of the South Texas Writing Project, he has long been engaged in the promotion of new writers and writing about the Mexican American experience. He teaches English at Laredo Community College in Laredo, Texas.

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