Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Dec 30-Jan 5

The poets, like the Dude, abide. 

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 30-January 5, compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover. 

For a complete calendar of bookish events in Texas this week, including daily listings and exhibits, visit the GO! Calendar at Lone Star Lit

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Review: CHRISTMAS IN AUSTIN

I reviewed Christmas in Austin (Faber & Faber) by Benjamin Markovits for Lone Star Literary Life. This is a profoundly intimate, psychologically complex and astute rendering of family ties. You'll think Markovits has been eavesdropping on your family holidays. 

LITERARY FICTION
Benjamin Markovits
Christmas in Austin
Faber & Faber
Hardcover (also available as an audiobook), 978-0-5713-5425-2, 320 pgs., $25.95
November 7, 2019
“This is how the morning wore on—family as information-producing machine . . . decision-requiring machine . . . argument-creating machine”
Fifteen Essingers (including a couple of significant others) are convening for Christmas at Liesel and Bill’s home in Austin where the four Essinger siblings—Nathan, Susie, Paul, and Jean—grew up. Each of the children brings news: Nathan is being vetted for the federal judiciary; Susie’s husband, David, has accepted a position at Oxford, and they’ll be moving to England in the summer; Paul has broken up with Dana, the mother of their four-year-old son, Cal; and Jean is bringing her fiancé, Henrik, who is her boss and not yet divorced from his first wife.

Over the course of a week, the Essingers grapple with priorities; family old, new, and contemplated; expectations, disappointments, and triumphs; ambition, competition, and ennui; beginnings, endings, and driftings; and shifting allegiances in a profoundly intimate, psychologically complex and astute rendering of family ties.

Christmas in Austin is the follow-up to A Weekend in New York, published in the United States in February of this year, in which Benjamin Markovits introduced the Essinger family. Markovits returns to the concepts of intimacy and loyalties throughout the text (“Part of the point of coming home was the density of association, you seemed to move through a thicker material.”), delivering emotional truths between generations and genders, packed with minutely observed, small moments that are everything—the profound quotidian.

The large and mobile cast is unwieldy but never hard to keep track of. Each character is a complicated, nuanced individual—they could walk right off the page into your kitchen and rummage in the fridge. Markovits employs an egalitarian approach: The story unfolds in multiple third-person narrations; we spend time in each character’s head on a rotating basis. You will find  that the point of view with which you were roasting the Christmas goose has switched, mid paragraph, to whomever is mashing the potatoes.

The dialogue around the table is a feat of ellipses, making you suspect that Markovits has been eavesdropping on your family holidays. Being immersed in family also inevitably means tedium—being trapped inside a navel-gazing head is claustrophobic—and too much information. We don’t need to know this much about their toilet habits.

There are innumerable conflicts in Christmas in Austin, both external and internal. Old World European values are baffled by American fetishes; duty and personal fulfillment face-off; old resentments and patterns compete with fresh slights and joys. There are class issues here between the shucks-we’re-just-folks of a certain kind of well-off Americans, the patrician New England, and the glamourous extravagance of Manhattan. The Essingers are a privileged tribe of upper-middle class, Ivy League educated Anglos, and they know it. The youngest generation is beginning to wrestle with the implications; the older generation is bewilderedly resistant; while the middle generation acknowledges it, expressing a sort of noblesse oblige, as in this disquieting conversation between Nathan and Paul at a Boxing Day party:

Some of the people here are serious people. You underestimate what it takes to be a person of influence.
Okay, Paul said.
All of us were born into enormous privilege.
I’m aware of that.
I’m not sure you are. We’re in a position, Nathan began, and then he said: We have the chance to live unusually good lives.
Not everybody wants to be Judge Kirkendoll.
Because they don’t want to do what you have to do.
Because they don’t want it, Paul said.
Well maybe they should. Because if we’re not going to do it, who will?

Other people.

It’s possible that the first truly honest conversation happens at the end of the book, and the conflict set in motion evokes real fear and seems to set up another Essinger novel—another big, glorious mess.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Is Your Manuscript Ready for Publication?

Texas Book Lover Editing Services 
"Having been on the receiving end of five of Michelle’s book reviews, I have to say that I (actually we, since Miles Arceneaux is the pen name for me and two collaborators) awaited each review with anticipation and some trepidation. Her reviews were always insightful, accurate, and spot on. They were also forthright—if the book had flaws, she would call them out. After each review, I remember wishing that we had had someone like her to edit our novels before publication. When I found out she had begun to offer that very thing, I sent her my recently completed manuscript straight away (different pen name, different collaboration). She did not disappoint. Whether you  decide to self-publish or are getting your book ready to pitch to an agent or publisher, I highly recommend Michelle’s editing service."
Brent Douglass (aka Miles Arceneaux, aka H.A. Douglass)

I am excited to announce that effective April 1, 2019, I began accepting manuscripts for editing.

I am a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle; a member of the Texas Press Association, Writers' League of Texas, and PEN America; and a former award-winning editor of the Texas Spur, a weekly newspaper since 1909. I have been an editor at Lone Star Literary Life since its founding in 2015. I have been a reviewer for Kirkus Indie and Foreword Reviews, and my work has been published or is forthcoming in Foreword ReviewsPleiadesRain TaxiWorld Literature TodayHigh Country NewsSouth85 JournalThe Review ReviewConcho River ReviewMonkeybicycleMosaic Literary MagazineAtticus Review, the Rumpus, Bookslut, PANK Magazine, and the Collagist.

Please carefully consider which level of attention your manuscript requires: paragraph-level editing (stylistic and structural), sentence-level editing (line editing or copy editing), or word-level editing (proofreading).

In my experience, many writers are skipping the copy editing process, assuming their beta readers have caught the large majority of errors. Many writers are dismayed and disappointed, even angry, when a proofreader finds a large number of errors in the final document; it means lost time and more money to fix a book that has already been designed or formatted.

The easiest way to distinguish between copy editing and proofreading is to consider when they occur during the editing process. Proofreading is the last step of editing; it happens after your book has been formatted for print or digital distribution and returned to you from your formatter or book designer. Proofreading occurs when your book is in its final form—the form your readers will buy.

For print books, proofreading will occur in PDF format; an e-book will be proofread as an epub or mobi file. In addition to language issues, such as typos, punctuation errors, and misspellings, the proofreader will also look for errors made during formatting and design.

The fewer changes you have to make at the proofreading stage, the better. Formatting or designing a book involves placing text so that your book looks good, the digital edition operates correctly, and both read well. Major changes, such as revising paragraphs and rearranging sentences, can ruin the carefully arranged layout of your book. Accordingly, you should only need to make minute changes at the proofreading stage.

Any corrections suggested by your proofreader will need to be performed by your formatter or designer.

Pricing: 
  • Proofreading (word-level editing): $2.00 per page
Upon completion of the service you will receive either a Word document with a list of required and suggested changes to the already formatted e-book; in the case of a print book, your choice of a marked PDF or a Word document. If I am hired to proofread, then upon beginning that process I determine that your manuscript needs copy editing, all work will cease, and I will consult with you regarding how to proceed.
  • Copy editing (sentence-level editing): $3.50 per page
Upon completion of the service you will receive your choice of either a Word document with tracked changes or without tracked changes. You will also receive an editorial style sheet based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.; spellings follow Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., first spelling, except where noted.
  • Stylistic and structural (paragraph-level editing, including copy editing): $5.00 per page
Upon completion of the service you will receive your choice of either a Word document with tracked changes or without tracked changes. You will also receive an editorial style sheet based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.; spellings follow Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., first spelling, except where noted.

Please plan on receiving your edited or proofread manuscript approximately two months from the date on which I receive your manuscript. Fees for a rush job, due in one month, include a surcharge of 25 percent.

I look forward to hearing from y’all and teaming up to make the world a safer, more satisfying place for readers everywhere.

Michelle

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Dec 16-22, 2019

The poets, like the Dude, abide.

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 16-22, 2019, compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover. 

Special events this week include the TCU Holiday Book Fair.

For a complete calendar of bookish events in Texas this week, including daily listings and exhibits, visit the GO! Calendar at Lone Star Lit

Thursday, December 12, 2019

TBL Editing Services now accepting manuscripts

Texas Book Lover Editing Services

"Having been on the receiving end of five of Michelle’s book reviews, I have to say that I (actually we, since Miles Arceneaux is the pen name for me and two collaborators) awaited each review with anticipation and some trepidation. Her reviews were always insightful, accurate, and spot on. They were also forthright—if the book had flaws, she would call them out. After each review, I remember wishing that we had had someone like her to edit our novels before publication. When I found out she had begun to offer that very thing, I sent her my recently completed manuscript straight away (different pen name, different collaboration). She did not disappoint. Whether you  decide to self-publish or are getting your book ready to pitch to an agent or publisher, I highly recommend Michelle’s editing service."
Brent Douglass (aka Miles Arceneaux, aka H.A. Douglass)

I am excited to announce that effective April 1, 2019 I began accepting manuscripts for editing.

I am a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle; a member of the Texas Press Association, Writers' League of Texas, and PEN America; and a former award-winning editor of the Texas Spur, a weekly newspaper since 1909. I have been an editor at Lone Star Literary Life since its founding in 2015. I have been a reviewer for Kirkus Indie and Foreword Reviews, and my work has been published or is forthcoming in Foreword ReviewsPleiadesRain TaxiWorld Literature TodayHigh Country NewsSouth85 JournalThe Review ReviewConcho River ReviewMonkeybicycleMosaic Literary MagazineAtticus Review, the Rumpus, Bookslut, PANK Magazine, and the Collagist.

Please carefully consider which level of attention your manuscript requires: paragraph-level editing (stylistic and structural), sentence-level editing (line editing or copy editing), or word-level editing (proofreading).

In my experience, many writers are skipping the copy editing process, assuming their beta readers have caught the large majority of errors. Many writers are dismayed and disappointed, even angry, when a proofreader finds a large number of errors in the final document; it means lost time and more money to fix a book that has already been designed or formatted.

The easiest way to distinguish between copy editing and proofreading is to consider when they occur during the editing process. Proofreading is the last step of editing; it happens after your book has been formatted for print or digital distribution and returned to you from your formatter or book designer. Proofreading occurs when your book is in its final form—the form your readers will buy.

For print books, proofreading will occur in PDF format; an e-book will be proofread as an epub or mobi file. In addition to language issues, such as typos, punctuation errors, and misspellings, the proofreader will also look for errors made during formatting and design.

The fewer changes you have to make at the proofreading stage, the better. Formatting or designing a book involves placing text so that your book looks good, the digital edition operates correctly, and both read well. Major changes, such as revising paragraphs and rearranging sentences, can ruin the carefully arranged layout of your book. Accordingly, you should only need to make minute changes at the proofreading stage.

Any corrections suggested by your proofreader will need to be performed by your formatter or designer.

Pricing: 
  • Proofreading (word-level editing): $2.00 per page
Upon completion of the service you will receive either a Word document with a list of required and suggested changes to the already formatted e-book; in the case of a print book, your choice of a marked PDF or a Word document. If I am hired to proofread, then upon beginning that process I determine that your manuscript needs copy editing, all work will cease, and I will consult with you regarding how to proceed.
  • Copy editing (sentence-level editing): $3.50 per page
Upon completion of the service you will receive your choice of either a Word document with tracked changes or without tracked changes. You will also receive an editorial style sheet based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.; spellings follow Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., first spelling, except where noted.
  • Stylistic and structural (paragraph-level editing, including copy editing): $5.00 per page
Upon completion of the service you will receive your choice of either a Word document with tracked changes or without tracked changes. You will also receive an editorial style sheet based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.; spellings follow Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., first spelling, except where noted.

Please plan on receiving your edited or proofread manuscript approximately two months from the date on which I receive your manuscript. Fees for a rush job, due in one month, include a surcharge of 25 percent.

I look forward to hearing from y’all and teaming up to make the world a safer, more satisfying place for readers everywhere.

Michelle

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Giveaway: COVEY AND JAYJAY GET EDUCATED

COVEY AND JAYJAY
GET EDUCATED
by
Shelton L. Williams
Genre: Murder Mystery / Social Thriller / Amateur Sleuth
Publication Date: September 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 209 pages

Scroll down for a giveaway!


Amateur detectives Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls are drawn into a triple murder on the campus of Baker College in West Waverly in the Texas Hill Country. Both end up taking positions at the college: Covey as an adjunct instructor and JayJay as a visiting actor. 

Initially they believe that money is the motive for the murders, but over time they learn that the college is a cauldron of political and social intrigue. The college's new president and his beautiful wife, various staff members, a prominent trustee, and parties not associated with the college have the motives, opportunities, and wacky agendas that might implicate them in the murders. It turns out that a white nationalist group may be using a college house for its nefarious activities, but are they more talk than action? 

The West Waverly police are little to no help in the investigation, and Covey himself has to depart the college to deal with his father's death. JayJay takes over and makes a critical breakthrough. Upon Covey's return, the couple must rely on deception, a bit of luck, and martial arts skills to solve the crimes and to try to prevent a high-profile assassination.



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 forty years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US government on four 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.

 Amazon Author Page  



-------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS!GRAND PRIZE: signed copy of each of the author's books
SECOND PRIZE: signed copy of both Covey Jencks and Covey and JayJay Get Educated
THIRD PRIZE: Audio book of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
FOURTH PRIZE: Kindle version of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
DECEMBER 10-20, 2019
(U.S. Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/10/19
Notable Quotable
12/10/19
Notable Quotable
12/11/19
Review
12/12/19
Author Interview
12/13/19
Review
12/13/19
Playlist
12/14/19
Review
12/14/19
Excerpt Part I
12/15/19
Excerpt Part II
12/16/19
Review
12/16/19
Notable Quotable
12/17/19
Review
12/18/19
Scrapbook Page
12/19/19
Review
12/19/19
Review



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Monday, December 9, 2019

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

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

Special events this week include the National Book Foundation's “Literature for Justice: Women Writing Beyond Bars” in Dallas, the Dock Bookshop Holiday Expo in Frisco, and the
Laredo Book Festival.

For a complete calendar of bookish events in Texas this week, including daily listings and exhibits, visit the GO! Calendar at Lone Star Lit

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Cover Reveal: EXECUTION IN E by Alexia Gordon


Lone Star Literary Life EXCLUSIVE!
Lone Star Literary Life is honored to present the cover
of the fifth book in the Gethsemane Brown Mysteries
by Alexia Gordon & Henery Press.
To be released March, 2020


PRESENTING . . .



ABOUT THE BOOK:   Romance is in the air. Or on the ‘gram, anyway.

When an influencer-turned-bridezilla shows up at the lighthouse to capture Insta-perfect wedding photos designed to entice sponsors to fund her lavish wedding, Gethsemane has her hands full trying to keep Eamon from blasting the entire wedding party over the edge of the cliff.

Wedding bells become funeral bells when members of the bride’s entourage start turning up dead. Frankie’s girlfriend, Verna, is pegged as maid-of-honor on the suspect list when the Garda discover the not-so-dearly departed groom was her ex and Gethsemane catches her standing over a body.

Gethsemane uncovers devilish dealings as she fights to clear Verna, for Frankie’s sake. Will she find the killer in time to save Frankie from another heartbreak? Or will the photos in her social media feed be post-mortem?

EXECUTION IN E
TO BE FEATURED ON
LONE STAR BOOK BLOG TOURS
MARCH, 2020



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A writer since childhood, Alexia Gordon won her first writing prize in the 6th grade. She continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. She established her medical career then returned to writing fiction. Raised in the southeast, schooled in the northeast, she relocated to the west where she completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program. She admits Texas brisket is as good as Carolina pulled pork. She practices medicine in North Chicago, IL. She enjoys the symphony, art collecting, embroidery, and ghost stories.
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