Monday, April 25, 2016

MONDAY ROUNDUP: Texas Literary Calendar April 25 - May 1

Bookish events in Texas for the week of April 25 - May 1, 2016: 

Special Events:
Houston Writers Guild Annual Conference, April 29 - May 1

Celebration of Authors Conference and Dinner, April 30

Children's Book Day/El día de los niños/El día de los libros, April 30

Dallas Book Festival, April 30

Houston Authors Bash Reloaded, April 30

Independent Bookstore Day, April 30

Ongoing Exhibits:

Monday, April 25:
Brazos Bookstore, Jeffrey Greene discusses and signs IN PURSUIT OF WILD EDIBLES, 7PM

Talento Bilingue De Houston, Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say 18th Anniversary Showcase, 6PM

University of Houston Library - Honors Commons, Glass Mountain launch and reading, 5:30PM

Thursday, April 28:
Blue Willow Bookshop, Maggie Stiefvater will discuss and sign her new novel THE RAVEN KING, 7PM

Brazos Bookstore, Douglas Brinkley discusses and signs RIGHTFUL HERITAGE, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Melissa Ginsburg will sign and discuss Sunset City, 6:30PM

University of St. Thomas - Jones Hall, Professor Patrick Geoghegan, author of Liberator: The Life and Death of Daniel O'Connell, 1830-1847, presents "Proclaiming Rebellion: Emmet, Pearse and the Road to 1916," 7PM

Lubbock Garden and Arts Center, Alvin R. Lynn discusses and signs Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls, TBA

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Helene Segura discusses and signs The Inefficiency Assassin, 6PM

Urban-15 Studios, Mega Corazon Poetry Slam: 9 hours of performance poetry!, 1PM

The Marq Southlake, An evening with Charlaine Harris, 5PM

Friday, April 29:

Katy Budget Books, Lin Oliver, co-author of the Hank Zipzer series, gives a reading and signs her new Fantastic Frame series, 6:30PM

Rudyard's Pub, Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Adrienne Perry, Martin Rock, Carlos Herbert Hernandez and Erika Jo Brown, 7PM

Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, KAP reading series presents Rob Spillman, 7:30PM

Saturday, April 30:
St. Edward's University, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "Author to Entrepreneur: A Roadmap to Effective Self-Publishing" with Danielle H. Acee , 9AM

Treaty Oak Ranch, Jack Allen will sign copies of the Jack Allen's Kitchen cookbook, 1PM

Twin Oaks Branch Library, APLFF presents: Writing Historical Fiction with Stephen Harrigan, 1:30PM

The Wild Detectives, Recitation Party and Bonehouse Poetry Reading, 2PM

El Paso
B&N - Vanderbilt Square, A Great Day To Live book signing with Damali Keith, 2PM

B&N - Westheimer, Filthy Fisherman book signing with Luke Holter, 2PM

Brazos Bookstore, Independent Bookstore Day celebration, all day

Brazos Bookstore, J. Bradford Hipps reads and signs THE ADVENTURIST, 7PM

Glassell School of Art - Studio School Temporary Location, The Booker-Lowe Lecture Series presents Garth Johnson, author of 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, 4PM

Half Price Books - Westheimer/Montrose, Mike Sims will sell and sign his novel Vickie, 1PM

Katy Budget Books, First Annual Spring Market for Independent Bookstore Day, all day

Rice University - Anderson-Clarke Center / School of Continuing Studies, OFF ROAD: Conversations with Artists Offline featuring William Wegman followed by a signing of Paintings, 4:30PM

B&N, Jodi Thomas signs the Ransom Canyon series, 2PM

Haley Memorial Library, Patrick Dearen signs Bitter Waters: The Struggles of the Pecos River, 2PM
Round Rock
Murder By the Book, Susan Wittig Albert will sign and discuss the new China Bayles mystery, Blood Orange, 2PM

Thursday, April 21, 2016

REVIEW: SUNSET CITY by Melissa Ginsburg

My review of Sunset City (Ecco Books) by Melissa Ginsburg was published by Lone Star Literary Life. This is poet Ginsburg's excellent first novel. From the review:

Sunset City, poet Melissa Ginsburg’s first novel, is a soulful, sexy, dangerous noir. In all good noir the location is an essential character in the story—and Houston’s slippery underbelly fits the bill. It’s all here: the bayous, ship channel refineries, Memorial Park, River Oaks, Montrose, Rudyard’s, and, always, real estate, in a city “that never stopped, it reached and reached,” where money exerts a “gravitational pull.” Ginsburg’s simple plot allows atmosphere to suffuse the story. You’ll feel the humidity on your upper lip and see the vivid, chemical sunsets for which the book is named. 
Charlotte, the most fully developed character, is sympathetic but frustrating in her self-destruction, as if she wants to beat someone else to the punch, feeling like “a poison I couldn’t stop swallowing.” She comes undone in the immediate aftermath of Danielle’s murder, on a drug and booze-soaked mental flight, trying to numb her grief. Ginsburg writes one of the best altered states I’ve ever read, both darkly humorous and melancholy, when Charlotte ends up in the drunk tank and it becomes “clear that someone, at some point during the night, had made a bad decision.”
Please click here to read the entire review.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

HELL TO PAY: Pamela Fagan Hutchins Guest Post

(What Doesn't Kill You, #7)
An Emily Romantic Mystery
Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Genre: Romantic Mystery

Publisher: SkipJack Publishing

Date of Publication: March 26, 2016

# of pages: 383
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily has her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she’s engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante’s childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancée Nadine, one of Emily’s best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trial for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices. Emily’s nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims a witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman. Before he can mount a defense, Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy’s ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her, and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the heeler, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack.


Top 10 Song List: Emily from Hell to Pay

You may know me as the protagonist in Heaven to Betsy, Earth to Emily, and the new release Hell to Pay. Growing up in west Texas and cutting my teeth in the rodeo world, I lean toward country music. But not always! Here’s my list of favorites:

1.      Garth Brooks’ Much Too Young, because my dad played it all the time when I was a girl, and he loved the line “worn out tape of Chris LeDoux.” Dad idolized Chris LeDoux, his rodeoing, and his music.

2. George Straits’ Amarillo By Morning. You can’t grow up in Amarillo and not learn to love this song. And it’s a great one.

3. Mac Davis’s Texas in My Rear View Mirror. I went to Texas Tech University in Lubbock on a rodeo scholarship (yes, you read that right), so you’re about to get a lot of Lubbock, and this song was about Lubbock. Because the word before Texas in the chorus was Lubbock: happiness is Lubbock, Texas in my rear view mirror.

4. The Dixie Chicks The Long Way Around. Natalie Maines, the lead singer, is from Lubbock. And just so you know, y’all, I’m not embarrassed she’s from Texas, although since it’s 10% of the population of the U.S.A., I think it’s a foregone conclusion that at least 10% of the wackos and weirdos are from here. And politicians (but don’t they fall in the wacko and weirdo category?), love ‘em or hate ‘em. Anyway, my friend Katie loves the Dixie Chicks, and she turned me on to this song. There’s a line that goes “My friends from high school, Married their high school boyfriends, Moved into houses in the same ZIP codes, Where their parents live.” I love it. But, *sigh*, while I didn’t marry my high school boyfriend, I moved back to the same zip code as my parents last year. Yeah. I did.

5. I graduated from high school in 2002. Drops of Jupiter by Train brings back so many memories, as does . . .

6. Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down. My gosh I love this song.

7. And . . . It’s a Great Day To Be Alive by Travis Tritt. Can you hear me singing? Because I am. Loud and off-key. “I got my rice cookin’ in the microwave.”

8. Gwen Stefani, Hollaback Girl. No, scratch that. Hey Baby by No Doubt. I really like Gwen, but I love No Doubt.

9. Jason Aldean’s Flyover States is one of my favorites now. If you met a girl from Amarillo, you’d know exactly what he means. Maybe you already do.

10. Only one more. Okay, then it would have to be Wrapped by George Strait. I think I could do a whole list of just George Strait. Nothing says Texas like his music. And he’s even got a rodeo song: I Can Still Make Cheyenne.

Anybody else out there graduate high school around 2002 and college about four years later?  That makes us the same generation. What songs bring back your memories, and do you still listen to, all these years later?

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long emails, best-selling, award-winning mysteries (WINNER USA Best Book Award, Fiction: Cross Genre, Finalist) and hilarious nonfiction. The Houston Press named her as one of Houston's Top 10 Authors (2014). She is a recovering attorney and investigator who resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Wyoming. Pamela has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, traveling in the Bookmobile, and her Keurig. Download her mystery Saving Grace, free everywhere, and visit her  website or drop her a note pamela at pamelahutchins dot com. And if you would like her to visit your book club, women’s group, writer’s group, or library, all you have to do is ask.



April 11 - 20, 2016

Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!

4/11     Margie's Must Reads                Review
4/13     The Page Unbound                   Author Interview #1
4/14     All for the Love of the Word      Review
4/15     Because This is My Life Y'all       Guest Post #1
4/16     My Book Fix Blog                      Excerpt
4/17     It's a Jenn World                       Review
4/18     A Novel Reality                         Author Interview #2
4/19     Texas Book Lover                      Guest Post #2
4/20     Hall Ways Blog                          Review

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