Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Dec 10-16, 2018

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 10-16, 2018: 

Special Events:
Going Out of Business Sale:books, pamphlets & paper ephemera, Llano, December 13-14

Ongoing Exhibits:

Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin Poetry Slam featuring Wayne Henry, 7:15PM

The Mix, PuroSlam, 9:30PM

Wednesday, December 12:

Dallas
Sandaga 813, LitNight with Sanderia Faye, 7PM

The Wild Detectives, Inner Moonlight poetry featuring Trista Edwards and Bess Whitby, 7:30PM


Webster
B&N, Meet the Author: Misty Boyd, 5PM

Friday, December 14:
Dallas
Deep Vellum Books, Cinestate Presents: HEADCHEESE: a special launch party and Q+A with Fangoria author Jess Hagemann, 7PM

El Paso

Houston
McAllen
B&N - Palms Crossing, Meet The Author: Daniel E. Valdez, 12PM & 5PM

Mansfield
Half Price Books, local spiritual author Diane Johnson will sell and sign copies of her 52-week devotional, Walking with God, 1PM

Richardson
The Drawing Board, Writing Workshops Dallas seminar: "Legal Issues for Writers with Mike Farris, 3PM

San Antonio
Dead Tree Books, Dead Tree Books, John C. Payne signing Three and Out, 12PM

The Twig Book Shop, Philip Mathis signing Goodbye Sky Harbor, 12PM

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Excerpt: THE JANUS WITCH by Michael Scott Clifton


THE JANUS WITCH
by
MICHAEL SCOTT CLIFTON
Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy / Romance
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Publication Date: September 1, 2018
Number of Pages: 372 pages

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 




Malice vs Love
A beautiful witch, a member of a murderous coven, is torn from her medieval world and transported to East Texas. The passage leaves her with no memory of her previous life. She falls in love with a young pediatrician, but her dark past threatens to reassert itself…and make her a threat.








https://books2read.com/The-Janus-Witch

PRAISE FOR THE JANUS WITCH:

This book is filled with magic, intrigue, excitement, and fantasy. Michael Scott Clifton is a truly gifted author. -- Teresa Syms, Readers’ Favorite

This novel was an absolute page turner with action and great character development. I enjoyed every minute of it. I'm excited for the next work by Mike Clifton. -- Bronwyn Pegues, Librarian, Longview Public Library

Michael Scott Clifton weaves and casts a magical spell in his fantasy romance The Janus Witch. A must read for any Fantasy Romance, Urban Romance, or Paranormal Romance enthusiast! -- Ranay James, Author of The McKinnon Legends: A Time Travel Series

A continuous flow of witchery and energy that kept this reader captivated until the end. -- The Electric Review, 5-Star Review





CHAPTER ONE, PART TWO
THE JANUS WITCH
BY MICHAEL SCOTT CLIFTON


          Morganna picked up both bodies as if light as straw, and carried them to a dark, filth encrusted alley beside the tavern. Rats scurried from the witch to disappear in moldering piles of spoiled food and garbage. With an effortless heave, she sent the bodies flying down the narrow lane to land with a graceless thud. Wiping her hands on her dress, the witch turned back to Tressalayne and Argatha. 
          “Another advantage of these seedy inns is dead bodies rarely draw attention. A couple of men with slit throats in a back alley is more likely to elicit a yawn than any kind of investigation. I’ll wager they’ll lay there until they become so ripe the smell forces the innkeeper to remove them.“
          Quickly changing tack, Morganna asked, “Tressalayne, do you have the changeling powder?”
          Tressalayne nodded and handed Morganna a blue bottle whose contents glimmered in the weak light. 
          With practiced ease, the dark-haired witch pulled the cork from the bottle while muttering words in a harsh, guttural, language few if any in the village, county, or even kingdom would recognize or understand. Arranged at arm’s length from one another, Argatha and Tressalayne stood while she tapped a minute amount of powder in her hand. Blowing a portion of it, first on Argatha, then the next on Tressalayne, Morganna re-corked the bottle and waited. 
          At first nothing happened. Only the mournful creaking of the tavern sign relieved the quiet of the night. Then, like embers from a fire, sparks fell from both women. Sluggish at first then building in intensity until with a crescendo, the raging fire completely enveloped both women. With a pop the sparks disappeared, and in their place stood two shorter, scantily-clad women. Argatha wore a stained, blue gown opened to her navel and barely covered her straining breasts. Of a light, transparent material, it left little to the imagination. Tressalayne wore a torn and patched green gown. The garment contained a slit which ended at mid-thigh to expose milky skin and shapely legs, while her breasts threatened to fall out of the loose bodice. Cheap jewelry in the form of rings and bangles flashed from both witches’ hands and wrists. 
          Scrutinizing them, Morganna, nodded, satisfied. She handed the bottle of powder to Tressalayne. “My turn.” 
          Tressalayne stared at the bottle before comprehension began to sink in. “You—you mean—”
          “Yes. You are ready. It’s time for you to start using the spells I have taught you as my apprentice,” the dark-haired witch said with a tight smile.
          But you haven’t let me try transmogrification and I am older and more experienced!” Argatha protested. 
          “True,” Morganna conceded, “but then Tressalayne is already a more skillful apprentice than you and I have no doubt, more powerful. Now shut up and let’s get on with it.” 
          Argatha opened her mouth to further protest, but a steely glance from the coven leader caused her to quickly swallow the comment. 
          Tressalayne fumbled with the cork and almost dropped the bottle. Fighting to keep her hand steady, she spilled some of the powder into it while repeating the spell spoken moments earlier. Finally, she blew the powder onto Morganna. 
          Time passed and nothing happened. Argatha chortled and Tressalayne feared she incanted the spell incorrectly. Just as she was about to ask for a second chance, sparks dripped from Morganna’s figure. A twisting tornado of sparks and flames roared to life until with a bang, it winked out. 
          Morganna stood before them, shorter and plumper in a worn, wine-red gown. Tight, it clung to her voluptuous figure, the gown cut low to expose the deep valley of Morganna’s enormous bosom. 
          The coven leader examined herself with a critical eye and nodded in satisfaction. “A little overboard with the tits, but otherwise well done.” Turning to Argatha, she said, “Get our ‘guests’.” 
          Cackling, the young witch returned to the cart and stuck her head in the back of the wagon and commanded, “Come!” 




Michael Scott Clifton, public educator for over 38 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator, currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas with his wife, Melanie, and family cat, Sadie. An avid gardener, he enjoys all kinds of book and movie genres. His books contain aspects of all the genres he enjoys...adventure, magic, fantasy, romance, and relationships. He has been a finalist in a number of short story contests. Clifton’s fantasy novel, The Conquest of the Veil, won a First Chapter Finalist award. Professional credits include articles published in the Texas Study of Secondary Education Magazine. Clifton’s latest book, The Janus Witch, the July Book Cover of the Month, is a featured book on the We Love Indie Books website. Currently, Clifton is completing Book I of The Conquest of the Veil, which will be released in March 2019. He can be reached at mike@michaelscottclifton.com.



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DECEMBER 4-13, 2018

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/4/18
Excerpt
12/4/18
Book Trailer
12/5/18
Review
12/6/18
Author Interview
12/6/18
Top 5 List
12/7/18
Review
12/8/18
Excerpt
12/8/18
Promo
12/9/18
Review
12/10/18
Author Interview
12/10/18
Excerpt
12/11/18
Review
12/12/18
Guest Post
12/13/18
Review
12/13/18
Review



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Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Dec 3-9, 2018

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 3-9, 2018: 

Special Events:
2018 Emily Dickinson Birthday Gathering of Poets Dinner Reading, Conroe, December 6

Holiday Book Fest, Fort Worth, December 8

Laredo Book Festival, December 8

Humanities Texas Holiday Book Fair, Austin, December 8

Ongoing Exhibits:
The Twig Book Shop, Rachael Sparks reading and signing Resistant, 5PM

Tuesday, December 4:

Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin Poetry Slam: Women of the Austin Slam Championship, 7:15PM


Fort Worth


Kerrville
Riverside Nature Center Association, Lynne Weber and Jim Weber discussing and signing Native Host Plants for Texas Butterflies, 1PM

San Antonio
Dallas
Royal Oaks Country Club, Friends of the SMU LIbraries Annual Holiday Luncheon: Anne Hughes presents My Life with Tom Hughes: A Personal Story of the "Musicals Man" of Dallas, 11:30AM

Bryan
SEAD Gallery & Bookshop, Author Talk with Arnold LeUnes, 6PM

Dallas

Highland Park United Methodist Church, Authors LIVE! presents H.W. Brands and Heirs of the Founders, 6PM

Interabang Books, Holiday Open House, 5PM

Houston
Murder By the Book, AR Baumann will sign and discuss Thicker Than Blood, 6:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Bryant Boutwell discussing and signing I’m Dr. Red Duke, 5:30PM


Friday, December 7:

Malvern Books, the launch of the poetry collection Spokes of an Uneven Wheel by Colin Dodds, 7PM

Bryan
The Village Cafe & Art979 Gallery, William E. Moore signing The Texas Calaboose and Other Forgotten Jails, 4PM

Dallas

MATCH: Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston, Inprint and UH host a memorial celebration of poet, teacher, and storyteller Tony Hoagland, 6PM

San Antonio

The Twig Book Shop, Joy Jones reading and signing The Last Madam: A Legend of the Texas Chicken Ranch, 5PM

Saturday, December 8:


Charter Medical Center, book launch of GODS AND HEROES by Oladele Olusanya, 10AM

El Paso
Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "Outside the Box Part 3" with Eternity Wauls, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
Monkey & Dog Books, Local Author Signing: Marjorie Herrera Lewis presents When the Men Were Gone, 1PM

Galveston Bookshop, Col. Kelley Crooks USAF (Ret.) signing Warships at Seawolf Park (Images of America Series), 3PM



Irving
East Library, Posadas Holiday Celebration featuring author Xavier Garza, 2:30PM

West Library, 4th annual Harry Potter Yule Ball for Teens, 5PM

Nacogdoches
The Bosslight, Jessi Lanier signing Our Brave Star, 12PM

Pflugerville
Wild Magnolias, NeoSoul Poetry $200 Slam, 6PM

Port Neches
Fleur Fine Books, Meet & Greet with Raymond McHenry, author of The Innkeeper's Journal, 3PM

San Antonio
Dead Tree Books, Meet the Author - Rohn Bayes, 2PM

Gemini Ink, Winter Market Open House, 12PM

The Twig Book Shop, Terence White, Sr. discussing and signing Why Marriage is Important to God, 11AM

The Twig Book Shop, Amelia Banis signing The Last Year, 2PM

Webster
B&N - Baybrook, Meet children's author Joy Sewing, 11AM

Sunday, December 9:
Austin
Malvern Books, Austin Writers Roulette presents "The End is the Beginning," 4PM

LBJ Library, Russ Whitlock, former superintendent of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, signing The Texas White House, 11:30AM

Dallas
Half Price Books Mother Ship, Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last
The Drawing Board, Writing Workshops Dallas seminar: "How to Write Flash Fiction" with Eden Elieff, 3PM

San Antonio

Dead Tree Books, Dead Tree Books, John C. Payne signing Three and Out, 12PM

The Twig Book Shop, Clara Harmonson discussing and signing Hair Chronicles, 12PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: Lamar Jones discussing and signing The Adventures of Sir Jankster, 1PM

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Interview: Shelton L. Williams, author of COVEY JENCKS

COVEY JENCKS
by
SHELTON L. WILLIAMS
Narrated by Kathy James
Genre: Mystery / Social Thriller
Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Publication Date: February 10, 2018
Number of Pages: 229 pages
Audio Book Length: 6 hours, 38 minutes

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 


Covey Jencks is a murder mystery with a social conscience. Set in West Texas with a cast of colorful and humorous characters, it follows a young lawyer from Washington, DC back to his hometown of Odessa, Texas. He wants and needs to solve a murder case from 1979 in 1993. The problem is that the Odessa Police Department has already found its man, and no one wants to re-visit the case of a black prostitute whose life was seemingly of no consequence to anyone. But Freddie Mae Johnson’s death matters to Covey, and eventually he discovers an old flame, JayJay Qualls, who also knew and loved Freddie. Together they undertake an investigation that uncovers not only the truth about Freddie but also the secrets of Odessa’s south side, Mexican gangs, a Boston mobster, and the fallacy of unexamined assumptions. Finding out who killed Freddie is one thing, but preventing their own demise is quite another!






PRAISE FOR COVEY JENCKS:

Williams seamlessly braids a murder mystery with a love story and a drama about the pervasiveness of racism in the South... The author’s prose is buoyantly eccentric, both insightful and self-effacingly humorous. And the clues Covey and JayJay track down are meted out to readers with impressive judiciousness: The author never prematurely surrenders so much information that the conclusion is rendered foregone while the tale’s swift pace prevents it from becoming tedious. An engrossing crime drama that’s both entertaining and provocative. -- Kirkus Indie




Shelton Williams

You shared that the name “Covey” has been with you thirty plus years, but how did you come up with names like Covey, Cleon, Gro, China (pronounced Cheena), and even good old Alfreda “Freddie Mae” herself?  
I came up with Covey working on another book in the mid-80s. I wanted a classic-sounding but uniquely Texas name. Travis and Austin were no good then. Covey popped in my head and, I swear, Jencks just followed. The African-American names all belong to people I knew and loved. I try to honor them here. China is a friend of mine here in DC, and she bears no resemblance to the China in the book.

Covey Jencks is now available as an audio book. How did you make the decision to use a female narrator when your main character is a male?
Two reasons: I listened to a couple of male narrators from Texas, and they sounded like cliché cowboys. No bueno. I know the book is in Covey’s voice, but there are so many important and different women in it, and Kathy nailed them. She is also now working on my other book about the death of my female cousin. She relates to these women, and I appreciate it. 

In Covey Jencks, you don’t sugar-coat any of the ugliness of social injustices towards minorities, and many characters are still as racist and narrow-minded in the ‘90s as they were in the ‘70s.  What message do you want readers to take away from those scenes/characters?
Well, racism has never left us, but what role it plays in our lives varies from time to time and from person to person. In the book I show that we all have bias and sometimes it comes out as hate or fear. Racial bias or hate should never be the basis of public policy, never. 

Back in April, when Covey Jencks first showed-up on LSBBT’s radar, we asked if there was a series being set-up. Your answer was, “Yes…the monster is still roaming the house.” Any progress there? What’s coming and how soon?
Yes, Covey and JayJay Get Educated is almost finished. While the setting is a fictional college, the duo investigates a triple murder and stumbles into a Neo-Nazi conspiracy. Don’t hold it against me that there is more sex and violence in this one. Oh, and a good portion of it is told in JayJay’s voice. 

What’s something that has really surprised you when you returned to Odessa?
I have not lived in Odessa since 1962, but I have been back there many times. For years and years, I only visited the areas I lived in or knew well as a kid. I was astonished that downtown Odessa looked the same every time and the houses in East and West Odessa were basically unchanged but always in various states of repair or disrepair. Finally, I said to an Odessa friend: "Why doesn't Odessa change even a little? Everything looks the same!" That's when she directed me to drive well east of my old high school to an area of new, well-manicured, and obviously wealthy homes that I had completely missed in my two decades of visiting Odessa to do book research! Then I was disappointed that part of Odessa looks like Plano.

You’ve been living outside of Texas for fifteen years now, and as you said before, you can take the boy out of Texas, but… What part of your personality will always be uniquely Texan? What one thing from the Great State do you miss most?
I am a member of the Willie Nelson wing of the Democratic Party. Mollie Ivins and Ann Richards are heroes. Richard Linklater, too. So, the food, the sports, the dance halls and the politics are what I miss. My family comes first, so here I am in Bethesda, MD. Besides, I stopped drinking long ago; I rarely dance or play sports anymore; and the politics of Odessa seems to be everywhere now. 


Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.







My first part time job while I was in high school was announcing at the local radio station, and I had fun being "on the air” and using my sarcastic sense of humor. I worked in the radio business for more than twenty years. My favorite pastimes are teaching figure skating, getting lost in a great book, and watching movies. I narrate and produce audio books in my home studio, and I truly enjoy bringing an author’s characters to life with an audio book. I currently reside in Minnesota with my slightly overweight cat and two childlike golden retrievers.



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NOVEMBER 27-DECEMBER 6, 2018
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
11/27/18
Review
11/27/18
Excerpt
11/28/18
Audio Review
11/29/18
Guest Post
11/29/18
Playlist
11/30/18
Audio Review
12/1/18
Author Interview
12/1/18
Character Interview
12/2/18
Review
12/2/18
Scrapbook Page
12/3/18
Review
12/4/18
Audio Review
12/5/18
Excerpt
12/6/18
Audio Review
12/6/18
Review



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