Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar September 9-15, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of September 9-15, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover. 

Texas Word Wrangler, Giddings, September 12-14

The Tom Bird Method Retreat: Write Your Book In a Weekend, Houston, September 12-14

Jaipur Literary Festival, Houston, September 13-14

East End Comic Fan Festival, Houston, September 13-15

Dallas Fort Worth Book & Map Show, Fort Worth, September 14-15


Humanities Texas exhibit: Shakespeare, Austin, September 1-October 1

Abilene Public Library, North Texas SCBWI workshop: "How to Critique and Take Criticism" with Kylie Peters, 5:30PM

BookPeople, "Crime Fiction in Any Size" with authors Edwin Hill, Puja Guha, and Carl Vonderau in conversation with Scott Montgomery, 7PM

Malvern Books, Austin Community College Literary Coffeehouse: Reading & Open Mic featuring novelist Britta Jenson, 7PM

Deep Vellum Books, Timothy Faust discussing and signing Health Justice Now, 7PM

Interabang Books, Elyssa Friedland reading and signing The Floating Feldmans, 6PM

SMU, author and journalist Alfredo Corchado shares what it's like to be a binational citizen, the challenges some immigrants face, and debunk myths about life in the Texas-Mexico border, 12PM

B&N - Stonebriar, Some Places More Than Others book signing with Renee Watson, 9AM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite reading and signing Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, their new book for young adults, 7PM

Royal Sonesta, Greater Houston World Affairs Council hosts David Kaye, United Nations Special Rapporteur, discussing and signing Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet, 7PM

South Irving Library, bestselling and award-winning author Renée Watson discussing her newest book, Some Places More Than Others, with bestselling author Julie Murphy, followed by an audience Q&A, book sales, and signing, 7PM

Austin Central Library, AIA Austin presents Design Talks with Vishaan Chakrabarti, author of A Country of Cities, 11:30AM

BookPeople, Ryan T. Higgins reading and signing Bruce's Big Storm, 6PM [kids event]

BookWoman, Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writers on #MeToo featuring readers Shelly Oria, Deb Olin Unferth, Rachel Heng, Maya Perez, and Nia KB, 6:30PM

Chez American Bistro, Chez Zee Author Series presents Lee Walker, author of Imagination House - An Entrepreneurial Life, 6PM [ticketed event]

Home Slice Pizza, Austin Bat Cave's Story Department presents "Resist," 7:30PM

Native Hostel, Austin Poetry Slam featuring Andrew Horneman, 7:15PM

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

Cedar Hill
Zula Bryant Wylie Library, Dallas Area Writers Group meeting featuring award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin, 7PM

Chocolate Secrets, Sanderia Faye's LitNight Reading Series featuring Harry Hunsicker, Kathleen Kent, Suzanne Frank, Daniel J. Hale, and Fran Lockhart Hillyer, 7PM

Hall of State at Fair Park, Dallas Historical Society Brown Bag Lecture: "Lone Star Cinema - The Film Industry in Texas" with John Slate, Dallas city archivist and published scholar of Texas film history, 12PM

SMU, "Language, Violence, and Activism: A Conversation about Mexico Today": In conjunction with Hay Forum Dallas, the Department of World Languages and Literatures hosts linguist and activist Yásnaya Elena Aguilar from Mexico and journalist John Gibler from Texas, 6PM

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

Farmers Branch
Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute, Charales Kruvand discussing and signing Riverwoods: Exploring the Wild Neches, 7PM

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

B&N - Stonebriar, Dear Haiti, Love Alaine book signing with Maika and Maritza Moulite, 7PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli reading and signing their new series, Hi, Jack!, 5PM [kids event]

Warehouse Live, The Moth StorySLAM presents "Lessons," 7:30PM

San Antonio
The Mix, The PuroSlam 29 Again! Hootenanny, 9:30PM

The Twig Book Shop, Gayle Brennan Spencer discussing and signing Haunting the Graveyard: Unearthing the Story of the Coker Settlement, 5PM

Interabang Books, Alex Counts discussing and signing Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind, 6PM

Unity of Dallas, Sangeet Millennium presents Declare World Peace: Celebration of World Music, Dance and Poetry, 7PM

The Wild Detectives, Inner Moonlight poetry reading with Mark Noble and V.P. Crowe, 7:30PM

Avant Garden, Write About Now: Poetry Open Mic featuring Alex Tha Great, 7:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Asher Price discussing and signing Earl Campbell: Yards After Contact, 6:30PM

San Antonio
University of the Incarnate Word, Distinguished Speaker Lecture: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King discussing and signing Beneath a Ruthless Sun, 7PM

University of Texas, Half Price Books presents Neil Patrick Harris discussing The Minor Third plus a magic performance, 7PM [ticketed event - includes a signed copy]

BookPeople, Patrick Radden Keefe discussing and signing Say Nothing, 7PM

BookWoman, Second Thursday Open Mic featuring poet Gabrielle Langley, 7:15PM

Lazarus Brewing Company, LOGOS Poetry Collective presents an evening of poetry and conversation featuring U.S. Young People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye and Texas Poet Laureate Carrie Fountain, 7:30PM

Malvern Books, Novel Night featuring David Odle, reading from Markus, and Dustin McKissen, reading from The Poor and The Haunted, 7PM
Interabang Books, Andrew Gross reading and signing The Fifth Column, 6PM

SMU, "A Half Century of an Evolving Congress: Observations from the Inside and Out" with Donald Wolfensberger, author of Changing Cultures in Congress: From Fair Play to Power Plays, 12PM

Fort Worth
Ella Mae Shamblee Library, Banned Books Film Series: The Color Purple, 5PM

Brazos Bookstore, Conor Bracken reading from and signing his poetry collection Scorpionic Sun, [reception at 5:30PM]

River Oaks Bookstore, Diane Manning discussing and signing Deceitful Lies: The Investigations of Reporter Melinda Henderson Volume I, 5PM

Wilchester Elementary School, Blue Willow Bookshop presents Drew and Jonathan Scott, better known as the Property Brothers, reading and signing their new picture book Builder Brothers, Better Together, 5PM [ticketed event]

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Diane Gonzales Bertrand reading and signing The Story Circle, and Mobi Warren reading and signing The Bee Maker, 5PM

Our Lady of the Lake University, poetry and comedy with Javier Ávila's "The Trouble with My Name," 6:30PM

University of Houston, American Book Review Reading Series presents poet and essayist Ladan Osman, 11AM

Front Street Books, Jim Fissel, Martha Hughes, Jim Martinez, Mary Lou Saxon, and Dallas Baxter discussing and signing Marfa Garden: The Wonders of Dry Desert Plants, 6PM
BookPeople, Atticus discussing and signing The Truth About Magic, 7PM [ticketed event]

Malvern Books, "Borderless: Conversations on Art, Action, and Justice" with Chaitali Sen, featuring Oscar Cásares, author of Where We Come From, 7PM

Deep Vellum Books, Pegasus Reading Series with poets John Poch, Corey Marks, Loretta Diane Walker, and Clara Bush Vadala, 7PM

Heroes Lounge, Dallas Poetry Slam: Girls Night Out featuring Crush, 8PM

Interabang Books, Steve Luxenberg discussing and signing Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, 6PM

Mighty Fine Arts Gallery, Poets on the X+ Reading Series & Open Mic featuring V.P. Crowe, 7PM

El Paso
Fahrenheit 180, Barbed Wire Series Open Mic, 8PM

Fort Worth
Ridglea Library, Banned Books Film Series: The Great Gatsby, 3PM

Brazos Bookstore, Sarah Adleman reading from and signing her poetry collection The Lampblack Blue of Memory: My Mother Echoes, 6:30PM
BookPeople, Neil Bockoven reading and signing Moctu and the Mammoth People, 5PM

Malvern Books, the launch of Esteban Rodríguez’s debut poetry collection, Dusk & Dust, with Leanna Petronella, Saul Hernandez, and Gabino Iglesias, 7PM

St. Edward's U, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "The Agent Search: Tips, Tricks, and Timeless Advice" with Becka Oliver, 9AM

St. Edward's U, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "Publishing 101: What Authors Need to Know about the Publishing Business" with Leila Sales, 1:30PM

College Station
TAMU Memorial Student Center, Dave South signing You Saw Me On the Radio: Recollections and Favorite Calls as the Voice of Aggie Athletics, ?

B&N - Preston/Royal, April Spotsville signs Oh Austen the Hippo, 1PM [kids event]

Interabang Books, Jared Chapman reading and signing Didi Dodo Future Spy: Robo Dodo Rumble, 1PM [kids event]

Interabang Books, W. Caleb McDaniel discussing and signing Sweet Taste of Liberty, 6PM

Pleasant Groove, Poetry Open Mic featuring McAllen Poet Laureate Edward Vidaurre, 6PM

2616 Commerce Event Center, Dallas Hope Charities presents Brunchin' in N'awlins with Matthew Riemer, co-author of We Are Everywhere, 10:30AM [ticketed event includes a signed copy of the book]

El Paso
El Paso Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "The Shape of Friendship" with Lucy Hopple, 12:45PM
Art League Houston, WITS: Free Verse Open Mic, 5:30PM

B&N - River Oaks, Greg Upah signing Sales Talks, 1PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Kallisto Gaia Press presents Texas Poets reading and signing the 2020 Texas Poetry Calendar, 4PM

Brazos Bookstore, Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham reading and signing Best Friends, 3PM [kids events]

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

Mind, Body & Soul, Workshop: Animal Communications for Beginners with Joan Ranquet, author of Communication with all Life, 10AM

Murder By the Book, William Kent Krueger reading and signing This Tender Land, 4:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Billy M. Copeland discussing and signing Growing Up Lucky: A Young Magician's Travels in the American Civil War, 1PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Deanne Wagner White signing How Can They Ever Get Along?, 4PM [kids event]

Half Price Books Mother Ship, local author Lyndsey Rhea signing The Uprising of the Unbound, and local author Alan Burton signing Go to the Games with Humble: Kern Tips and the Golden Age of SWC Radio, 1PM

The Wild Detectives, a performance in which sound and poetry converge with Barbara Lázara and Sara Raca, 7PM

Museum of South Texas History, Sunday Speaker Series: author Juan P. Carmona discussing The Alton Bush Crash, 2PM

El Paso
B&N - Fountains at Farah, King Here: Never Too Old, Too Rich Or Too Anything to Meet Jesus book signing with Trish Porter Topmiller, 1PM

Fort Worth
Central Library, Banned Books Film Series: The Great Gatsby, 2PM

B&N - Stonebriar, Frankly in Love book signing with David Yoon, 2PM

Congregation Emanu El, The Progressive Forum presents Bill McKibben, principal creator of the climate movement and author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, 7:30PM [ ticketed event; book signing follows]

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Author Interview & Giveaway: FATAL STRIKE by DiAnn Mills


Genre: Romantic Suspense / Clean Romance / Christian
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Date of Publication: September 3, 2019
Number of Pages: 400

Scroll down for giveaway!

There’s a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. Authorities have reasons to believe the Veneno gang is behind the hits, and FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down those responsible. Their best lead is an eyewitness who identifies a young man dumping the third body on a church doorstep. But their suspect has gone into hiding, and those closest to him are reluctant to reveal anything that might help investigators find him.

As Leah and Jon check connections among the victims and dig deeper into motives, they discover appearances may be deceiving. Someone is desperate to keep their secrets hidden, and Leah and Jon must face their greatest fears in order to stop the next fatal strike.

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Tell us about some of the core themes you discuss in this novel. How can your readers relate to these areas in their own lives?
There are two important themes in this story: (1) how unforgiveness can make us bitter and the peace of embracing forgiveness and (2) the power of adoption in families and in the spiritual realm. Leah comes from a family that has embraced adoption, and both she and Jon go on a spiritual journey exploring what it means to be adopted into God’s family.

What do you enjoy most in writing about the work of the FBI?
Creating courageous men and women who dedicate their lives to keep us safe while showing traits that make them relatable and real.

How difficult is it to write about the FBI? 
I’m fortunate to have forged a relationship with Houston’s FBI, and I’m a part of their FBI Houston Citizens Academy Alumni Association. In 2013, I was invited to take their 7-week course to learn about their various divisions. These sessions were taught by special agents who had either handled prominent cases or worked a specific division. Houston agents are incredible. I now work with a woman in Public Relations at FBI Headquarters in DC who answers all my questions. I’ve interviewed the agents who work the divisions in my stories for personal and professional input. Research can be difficult at times, but I believe in going straight to the source. The FBI, as well as other law enforcement agencies, want accuracy in our books and for the community to see them appropriately. 

Can you tell us about some of the research that went into writing Fatal Strike?
I interviewed a gentleman who worked FBI SWAT. I learned so much about teamwork, the role of a negotiator, and the training. A sniper is used as a last resort when all other means of negotiation fail, and people are in danger. The sniper must be confident his or her shot will not hurt another person. Following a mission, the team discusses what went well, what went wrong, and how the operation could be improved.

What inspired the plot of this novel—especially the motif of snakes and venom?
First of all, I hate snakes.  And I believe in writing what we fear. I knew I wanted a female FBI agent who also worked SWAT and had the role of a sniper. What if she were afraid of snakes? How would bad guys use rattlesnake venom? While a rattler bite is not always deadly, it is fatal (fatal strike) when injected into the heart. Plus, the bad guy leaves less evidence by eliminating the need to discard a knife or giving law enforcement an opportunity to trace a bullet.

What was your favorite scene to write?
Actually, there are two. (1) Leah faces her nemesis when she’s given what she thinks is a box of flowers and a rattler is inside. Loved her reaction. (2) Leah and her dad reunite after years of estrangement. I cried during that scene.

What are you most excited for your readers to experience through reading this novel?
The characters’ journey to solve a horrible crime. On the way they find forgiveness for their pasts and the gift of love.

How did the writing of this story impact you as a person or as an author? 
Writing Fatal Strike gave me a better understanding of the stress and pressure of those who are members of SWAT and those who specialize as snipers. Although I’ve written many books that include FBI and other law enforcement, this story gave me the opportunity to relate their responsibilities with faith. After searching the Scriptures, I see our God is just and righteous. If He calls a person into this type of career, He will equip the person with tools to handle the weight of their responsibilities.

Can you tell us about some future projects you’re working on?
I’m finishing up a book currently titled Airborne. A female FBI agent boards a plane in Houston for Salzburg, Austria. She needs a vacation to renew her relationship with God and to figure out her future. Her husband has moved out, wants a divorce, and he doesn’t know she’s pregnant. Two hours into the flight, symptoms become evident of a deadly virus onboard, and her husband, a bioengineer, becomes a person of interest. 

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure? 

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol Award contests. 

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. 

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. She’s very active online and loves to connect with readers.

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FOUR WINNERS: Personalized Hard Copies of Fatal Strike
+ $25 Starbucks Gift Cards
September 3-13, 2019

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Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar September 2-8, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of September 2-8, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Latinidades: A Festival of Solo Shows, Dallas, August 29-September 8

Langdon Review Weekend 2019, Granbury, September 4-7

North Richland Hills Authors & Arts Gala, September 6

National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration, Lubbock, September 6-8

Zine Fest Houston 2019: Zine Cuisine, September 7

Hay Festival Forum Dallas Literary Festival, September 7-8


Humanities Texas exhibit: Shakespeare, Austin, September 1-October 1

Fort Worth
Commonplace Books, the release of Greg Hoetker's novel, A Leg in Oklahoma City, 6:30PM

Native Hostel, Austin Poetry Slam: New Poem Slam featuring Angelica Maria Aquilera, 7:15PM

The North Door, Owen Egerton's One Page Salon featuring Gary Warner Kent, Staton Elisabet Joyce, Francois Pointeau, Wendi Aarons, and Joe O'Connell, plus BYOP, 7:30PM

Interabang Books, Beth Mills reading and signing Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen, 6PM [kids event]

Pan African Connection, a book signing with Derrick Barnes, bestselling and award-winning author of CROWN: An Ode To The Fresh Cut, 7PM

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

Blue Willow Bookshop, David Shannon will discuss and sign his new picture book, Mr. Nogginbody Gets a Hammer, 5PM

Brazos Bookstore, Timothy Faust discussing and signing Health Justice Now, 6:30PM

San Antonio
The Mix, PuroSlam Season Opener, 9:30PM

The Twig Book Shop, Clyta Coder discussing and signing Mountains, Rainbows and an Occasional Moose, 5PM

BookPeople, Timothy Faust discussing and signing Health Justice Now, 7PM

Bullock Museum, High Noon Talks: Cecilia Garcia-Akers discussing her biography of her father, Hector P. Garcia, 12PM

Cheer Up Charlies, Austin Bat Cave's 2nd Annual Buzzed Spelling Bee, 7PM [fundraiser]

Malvern Books, the launch of visiting poet Sarah Herrin’s chapbook, The Oceanography of Her (with poets Aimee Mackovic and Christia Madacsi Hoffman), 7PM

Interabang Books, Special story-time guest: Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail reading and signing Alis the Aviator, 11AM

SMU Perkins School of Theology, “Indian Literature in Conversation with the Contemporary World: Reflections on History, Religion, Theology, Writing, and Politics" with novelist Chandrahas Choudhury, 1:30PM [registration required]

Avant Garden, Write About Now: LatinX Mic featuring Angelica Maria Aguilera, 7:30PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Ryan T. Higgins will discuss and sign his new picture book, Bruce's Big Storm, 5PM

Brazos Bookstore, Chris Shepherd discussing and signing Cook Like a Local, 6:30PM

Lone Star College - North Harris, Makerspace: Making Zines Workshop, 1PM

Pflugerville Public Library, Fiction Writing Series, Part IV: Page Turners: Angst & Danger in YA & Romantic Fiction with Tracey Lander-Garrett, 6PM

San Antonio
Brook Hollow Branch Library, Monthly Story Nite with San Antonio Storytellers Association, 5:30PM

Interabang Books, Joseph Reid reading and signing False Horizon, 6PM

Moody Performance Hall, Arts & Letters Live: Salman Rushdie presents Quichotte (in conversation with author Jaina Sanga), 7:30PM [ticketed event]

UNT, Mary Jo and V. Lane Rawlins Fine Arts Series presents bestselling author and cultural critic Roxane Gay, 7:30PM

Houston Public Library - Main Branch, Rare Books Room Showcase, 6:30PM

Murder By the Book, Lisa Haneberg will sign and discuss Dead Pelican, 6:30PM

Bowden Center, the Keller Public Library presents the "2019 Keller Reads: One Book One City" with Jason Fagone, author of The Woman Who Smashed Codes, 6PM

Texas Tech, TTU Creative Writing Program Reading Series presents Marcus Burke, author of Team Seven, Sara Ryan, author of Excellent Evidence of Human Activity, and Jennifer Buentello, managing editor of Iron Horse Literary Review, 7:30PM

San Antonio
Launch SA, Workshop: Creative Writing For Entrepreneurs: Access Your Hidden Talent and the Power of Words, 10:30AM
First Baptist Church, BookPeople presents Salman Rushdie and Quichotte (in conversation with Maya Smart), 7PM [ticketed event]
Fort Worth
Commonplace Books, An evening of intimate singing and storytelling by Texas songwriter Joseph Neville, 5PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, the launch of Katharine McGee's new book for teens, American Royals, 7PM

Brazos Bookstore, Caleb McDaniel discussing and signing Sweet Taste of Liberty, 6:30PM

Inprint House, First Friday Poetry Reading Series presents Melissa Studdard, 8:30PM

UTHealth Brown Foundation, The Friends of the Texas Medical Center Library host their annual Book and Author fundraiser, featuring Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, who will discuss his book, Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad, 7PM

Crowley Theater, a book launch event for Marfa Garden, 6PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Timothy Faust discussing and signing Health Justice Now: Single Payer and What Comes Next, 5PM

Austin Book Arts Center, Fall Open House, featuring Kyle Durrie of Power and Light Press of Silver City, New Mexico, and her “Moveable Type” truck, 10AM [Durrie scheduled for 2PM]

BookPeople, Maura Thomas discussing and signing Attention Management, 2PM
BookPeople, W. Caleb McDaniel discussing and signing Sweet Taste of Liberty, 5PM

Malvern Books, The Lion & The Pirate Open Mic with Spirit Thom & The Old Hats, 7PM

Interabang Books, Sean Easley reading and signing The Key of Lost Things, 2PM [kids event]

Pan African Connection, S.D. Booker discussing and signing A Toast to the Men, 3PM

B&N - Golden Triangle Mall, Carlo Cavazutti signing Showdown in Beantown, 2PM
El Paso
B&N - Fountains at Farah, Hunting the Caliphate book signing with Dana J.H. Pittard and Wes J. Bryant, 11AM

El Paso Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "Things I Didn't Know I Loved" with author Robin Scofield, 12:45PM

Galveston Bookshop, Lisa Haneberg signing Dead Pelican: A Spy Shop Mystery, 2PM

Fabled Bookshop & Cafe, local author J.H. Reynolds releases the third book his Monsterstreet Series, 10AM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, self-help author Debbie Van Allen signing Do It First, Do It Right, 1PM

Harvest House, Spiderweb Salon presents Denton Zine & Art Party 2019, 3PM

Fort Worth
Fort Worth Central Library, Banned Books Film Series: Fahrenheit 451, 2PM

Books Ink, Book lovers and their friends will be walking over the harbor bridge on the 100th official BridgeWalk, 8:30AM

Sugar Land