Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar March 18-24, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 18-24, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:
Barrio Writers Spring Break 2019, Austin, March 21-22

2019 Friends of Fondren Library Gala, Houston, March 22

North Texas Teen Book Festival, Irving, March 22-23

2019 REELpoetry, Houston, March 22-24

2nd Annual Women on the Bayou Poetry Slam, Houston, March 23

Home Run Author Event, Arlington, March 23

WORDfest/WORDfield 2019, Hurst, March 23-24

Ongoing Exhibits:

Our People: The Life and Works of Author Angela Shelf Medearis, Austin, February 2-June 22

Worlds of W O N D E R: David Ezra Stein, Abilene, February 14-May 18

Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Austin, February 17-May 26

The Word Embodied: Scripture as Creative Inspiration in Twentieth-Century Book Arts, Dallas, March 1-June 15

Monday, March 18:
Austin


Richardson
Richardson Public Library, Writers Guild of Texas workshop: Self-Editing Essentials with Blake Atwood, 7PM

Tuesday, March 19:
Austin
Dallas

El Paso

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

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Bryan Washington reading and signing LOT: STORIES, 7PM

Murder By the Book, S.C. Perkins will sign and discuss Murder Once Removed, 6:30PM

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

San Antonio

Wednesday, March 20:
Dallas

Houston


Thursday, March 21:
Austin

Dallas
Houston
Blue Willow Bookshop, Samira Ahmed will appear in conversation with Jennifer Mathieu to discuss INTERNMENT, her new novel for teens, 7PM

Brazos Bookstore, Hanif Abdurraqib discussing and signing GO AHEAD IN THE RAIN, 7PM

Cafeza, Vox Storytellers: Artist Voices, 2:45PM
The Heritage Society, Noon Lecture: Giant: The Making of a Legendary American Film with Don Graham, 12PM

Houston Library, HPLQ Author Series: award-winning author and writer for comic book series Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson will present her latest novel, The Bird King, 7PM

Poison Girl, Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Jennifer Chang, Chinelo Okparanta, and Tracy Thiebauld, 8:30PM

Lubbock
Texas Tech, Creative Writing Program Reading Series: Will Stockton and D. Gilson discussing and signing Jesus Freaks: Christian Music & Queer Masculinities, 7:30PM

Midland
George Bush Childhood, Kelly and the Great Pinewood Derby book signing, 1PM

Pflugerville
Wild Magnolias, NeoSoul Poetry Slam featuring Wayne Henry, 8PM

Friday, March 22:
Alpine
Front Street Books, Lonn Taylor reading and signing Turning the Pages of Texas, 6PM

Austin
Dallas

Houston

Saturday, March 23:
Austin

Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Workshop: "Writing Our Memories, Riting Our Myth, Righting Our Lives" with Dennis Patrick Slattery, 9AM

The Writer's Garret, Workshop: "Failure for Beginners: 100 Submissions in 1 Year" with Nadia Wolnisty, 1PM

Denton
The Bearded Monk, American Literary Review Graduate Student Reading Series, 4PM

El Paso
El Paso Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "My Tiny Word" with Steven Zimmerman, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
Leaves Book & Tea Shop, Poetry Read Aloud, 10AM

Galveston

Houston

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


River Oaks Bookstore, , 3PM


San Antonio
Sunday, March 24:
Austin

Dallas


San Antonio
JCC San Antonio, Rebecca Soffer & Gabrielle Birkner discussing and signing Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome., 5PM

The Twig Book Shop, M. Ward Leon signing Blood of the Beast, 12PM

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar March 11-17, 2019


Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 11-17, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:
Black Studies at UT 2nd Biennial Conference, Austin, March 14-15

Texas Literary Hall of Fame Gala, Fort Worth, March 15

The Domain presents Rock + Read Music & Book Festival, Austin, March 16

Ongoing Exhibits:

Our People: The Life and Works of Author Angela Shelf Medearis, Austin, February 2-June 22

Worlds of W O N D E R: David Ezra Stein, Abilene, February 14-May 18

Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Austin, February 17-May 26

The Word Embodied: Scripture as Creative Inspiration in Twentieth-Century Book Arts, Dallas, March 1-June 15

Monday, March 11:
Austin



Richardson

San Antonio

Tuesday, March 12:
Austin

Home Slice Pizza, Austin Bat Cave Story Department: Wrong Number, 7PM

Cedar Hill

Dallas

Deep Vellum Books, Vellum Ouroboros - A Poetry Open Mic Salon, 6:45PM



El Paso

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

Houston


San Antonio

Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, Jessica Sorensen Live Author Takeover, 7PM

Wednesday, March 13:

Dallas

Houston
Avant Garden, Write About Now: Poetry Open Mic featuring UT Spitshine , 7:30PM



San Marcos

Thursday, March 14:
Austin


Dallas
Jewish Community Center of Dallas: Jim Schwartz Annual Lecture Series presents author Carmen Goldthwaite and "Texas Dames: Sassy & Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History", 7PM

Houston


Project Row Houses, Kiese Laymon reading and signing HEAVY, 7PM

San Antonio

Victoria

Friday, March 15:
Austin
BookWoman, South by North Lamar: Celebrating the Power of Woman in Music (benefitting BookWoman), 6PM

Dallas



Denton

El Paso
Literarity Book Shop, Poetry Therapy - Drink Specials and Raffles, 6:30PM

Houston

Saturday, March 16:
Austin


Dallas
Deep Vellum Books, Dallas Youth Poets: Teen Open Mic, 3PM

South Dallas Cultural Center, The Self Publication Series Volume 2 book signing, 1PM

The Writer's Garret, Workshop: "Little Red Retold: Modern Explication and Contemporary Fairy Tale Poetry" with Christoper Stephen Soden, 1PM

The Writer's Garret, Workshop: "Creative Nonfiction: The Beauty of Truth" with Gayle Reaves, 1PM

El Paso

Fort Worth

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




Pflugerville
Pflugerville Public Library, Pflugerville Poetry Society, 11AM

San Antonio
Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy, Kaiju of Carrizo Springs Book Release with 2018 SA Current Best Author runner up Bowie Ibarra, 12PM

The Twig Book Shop, Drew Dozier signing God and the Bee, 11AM

Southlake
B&N - Town Square, Tally Adams signing Shadow Pact, 1PM

Sugar Land
First Colony Branch Library, Houston Writers Guild Library Workshop, 1PM

Sunday, March 17:
Austin

Dallas
Half Price Books Mother Ship, Dallas-native scientist and fiction author Timothy Imholt, Phd will sell and sign the new book he’s co-authored with former Dallas Cowboys player Jay Saldi, Concusstitution: Welcome to Football, and Dallas-native Porchae Alexander will sell and sign her latest book, Spiritual Healing for the Wounded, 1PM



Friday, March 8, 2019

Review: LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE by Valeria Luiselli

I reviewed Lost Children Archive (Alfred A. Knopf) by Valeria Luiselli for Lone Star Lit. This is a mixed review; the book is well worth deciding for yourself. I'd appreciate any thoughts y'all may have if you've read the book.

LITERARY FICTION
Valeria Luiselli
Lost Children Archive: A Novel
Alfred A. Knopf
Hardcover, 978-0-5255-2161-0 (also available as an e-book), 400 pgs., $27.95
February 12, 2019

A family — a man and a woman, both documentarians working with sound (“We accumulated hours of tape of people speaking, telling stories, pausing, telling lies, praying, hesitating, confessing, breathing.”), and a boy, ten, and a girl, five — leave their New York apartment on a cross-country road trip. The man is heading for a new project about the last Apaches; the woman, who has been translating for a friend whose two children have crossed the Southern border on foot and have been detained by the Border Patrol, planning to make a documentary about the deportation of children. As the family makes their way across the country, stress fractures in the marriage begin to fissure, the car radio delivers worsening news about lost children, and the life of this family becomes as transitory, as impermanent, as that of any migrant.

Lost Children Archive: A Novel is the newest work and third novel from Valeria Luiselli, who is perhaps most well known for her second novel, The Story of My Teeth, which was named a best book of 2015 by almost everyone and was nominated for the Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction. She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award; has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize; and named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree. As befits this pedigree, Lost Children Archive is original, startling, and frequently lyrical; it is also confounding, meandering, and frequently oppressive.

The book begins with the woman’s first-person narrative. She, as well as the other family members, remain nameless throughout. She met her husband when neither of them was doing work of their first choosing; how does that impact who they are together when they return to first choices? The woman suspects this trip is going to end their time together as a family and her anxiety is palpable. Her insecurity about her future sets her emotionally adrift and we flounder with her. This is where the oppression comes in — we are trapped in her mind with her.

The woman and the children are deftly drawn; locked in her deteriorating mindset, we get to know her well, and the children’s dialogue and thought processes are spot-on. Every parent of a small child will register the truth of these scenes. The man remains a blank slate, unknowable to the woman and so to us.

Luiselli is brilliant, a rare talent, but I think she may’ve taken a step too far since she felt it necessary to include notes on sources and works cited in order to explain the unusual structure of the book and how those works (elegies that allude to Ezra Pound which is an “allusion” to the Odyssey) function as “intralinear markers” to other voices from the past. The reader should be able to grasp what an author has done without explanation. This left me frequently impressed but unengaged. During the road trip, the woman walks in on a book club meeting at a bookstore. She thinks that it sounds like a graduate seminar, not a book club, and she doesn’t understand what they’re saying. Well, yes.

Halfway through the book, as my attention began to wander, there’s a change in narrator as the boy relates the trip from his perspective and then takes over the story. This is just what was needed and yet is wholly unexpected. I was riveted for a time by the fresh voice. The boy’s narrative is an act of love and generosity.

Lost Children Archive is a beautiful physical specimen, its jacket rendered in desert colors, the pages decorated with the eerie Polaroid photographs taken by the boy during the road trip as he begins his own attempt at archiving. Luiselli revels in language and so do we. The children, crawling into bed, “puppying around” as they arrange themselves to sleep. She describes the boy’s first successful photograph as not being of the gas pump that is in the photo, but as a record of the time the boy figured out how to use the camera. You see?

Luiselli deals with important questions as the woman begins to doubt her work and the documentary form itself. What use a documentary if it produces no tangible effect? Is the act of witnessing, the fact of a witness, necessary if that witness is powerless? Do the lives of these children become media fodder, a form of entertainment? There but for the grace of God and all that.

I do not read beforehand about books I’m going to review; it’s been difficult ducking Lost Children Archive since it appeared on shelves in February. I did see the headline of Francisco Goldman’s piece on this novel for Lithub, calling Lost Children Archive “a novel for our time.” That may be so, for it leaves me restless and profoundly unsettled.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

LIVE WIRE by Pamela Fagan Hutchins: Character Interview & Giveaway

LIVE WIRE
(Maggie, Book One)
A What Doesn't Kill You
World Romantic Mystery
by
PAMELA FAGAN HUTCHINS
  Genre: Romantic Mystery
Date of Publication: March 6, 2019
Number of Pages: 270

Scroll down for giveaway!


A hook-up turned lethal. A spurned, angry cowboy. Can rebel Maggie turn the tables before a killer adds her to the list of lost causes?


Washed-up alt-country rocker-turned-junker Maggie Killian is pulled to Wyoming by an irresistible force . . . former bull rider Hank Sibley, the man who broke her heart fifteen years before. When she unexpectedly meets his Sunday school-teaching girlfriend at a saloon, Maggie seeks liquor-fueled oblivion between the sheets of a younger man’s bed. But after her beloved vintage truck breaks down and leaves her stranded in the Cowboy State, she learns her hook-up died minutes after leaving their rendezvous. Suddenly surrounded by men with questionable motives, Maggie searches for the murderer while fighting the electricity between herself and her old beau, and her new penchant for local whiskey.

When the police zero in on Maggie despite a disturbing series of break-ins at her guest cabin, she realizes she’s got no one to rely on but herself. To keep herself happily in bars instead of behind them, she must stop the killer before the cops realize the man she really suspects is a jealous, angry Hank.

Live Wire is the first standalone book in a trilogy featuring sharp-tongued protagonist Maggie Killian from the addictive What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series. If you like nerve-racking suspense, electric characters and relationships, and juicy plot twists, then you’ll love USA Today best seller Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ Silver Falchion award-winning series.


"Maggie is irresistible." 
Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon bestselling

author of My Sister's Grave

CLICK TO PURCHASE

Interview with Maggie Killian, Star of LIVE WIRE
in the What Doesn’t Kill You world of romantic mysteries
By Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Pamela: We’re here today with Maggie Killian, alt-country rocker-turned-junker. And I have to say, she’s wearing the coolest rodeo belt buckle I have ever seen. I hear she got it from that super-hot champion bull rider Hank Sibley. (silence) Okay….Anyway, Maggie is the star of several books in my What Doesn’t Kill You world. Most recently, USA Today bestseller BUCKLE BUNNY and the follow-up, SHOCK JOCK. Now she’s tearing it up in LIVE WIRE, with two more novels to come, SICK PUPPY and DEAD PILE.

Maggie interjects: Great. Just what I was hoping for. More intrusive writing about me.

Pamela: Readers, in case you’ve never had the pleasure, talking to Maggie has been described as a little like cuddling a porcupine.

Maggie (smiling): Thank you.

Pamela: So, if LIVE WIRE is made into a movie, who would play you?

Maggie: Hopefully no famous sell out.

Pamela: I think Emmy Rossum would be great.

Maggie: She’s not as bad as most. I like Shameless.

Pamela: I’ve heard you have the cutest house, ever.

Maggie (nods): Well, yeah, she’s a sexy beast.

Pamela: Tell us about her.

Maggie: Honestly, she was a piece of shit when I got her. It was a package deal, another way for my record label to rip me off by trading it to me for rights to my music and royalties: the land and everything on it, which turned out to include a barn, a shop, a magenta vintage Ford pickup, and the falling-down house. For a long time, I basically camped in her. The junk really spoke to me, and I repurposed a lot of it into the refurbished shop and opened Flown the Coop. Next, I got the truck running and spent years restoring it. Finally, once the shop started making money, I brought the house back up to code. Then, over the years, I decorated it and remodeled it in line with its farmhouse roots with pieces I found or created myself. When my birth mother passed—which is when I learned of her existence—I inherited her art collection. She was a painter and gallery owner. So, I’ve added pieces that were gifts to her, and also priceless paintings by her.

Pamela: Sounds wonderful. Do you have a favorite?

Maggie: Front Porch Pickin’. It’s a joyfully melancholy painting of a guitarist. And of course, it’s a Gidget Becker original. I keep it in my bedroom.

Pamela: Do you have a favorite room?

Maggie: The house is tiny, so there’s no modern open concept flowy element to it. It’s tight and cozy. For that reason, I like the kitchen best. It’s like a hug, which is what cooking is all about. Warmth and comfort. The cabinets are all reclaimed wood, painted and pickled. I have a skirted butcher block island in the middle. And the appliances are gas and electric, but they’re throwback style. And I have a big porcelain farm sink.

Pamela: What do you like to cook in there?

Maggie: Slabs of meat. I’m a carnivore.

Pamela: No veggies?

Maggie: To the extent they enhance the meat. Otherwise it’s just a waste of room on my plate.

Pamela: Dessert?

Maggie: If someone brings it. Then I prefer chocolate. I’m more of an expert in the cocktail making department.

Pamela: Care to share a recipe for your favorite?

Maggie: Sure. It’s really a two-part recipe. The cocktail and the morning after cure.

Pamela (eyes widen): This sounds dangerous.

Maggie: So they say. (hands papers to Pamela) Here you go.

Pamela: Thanks. Now, if you would, take us through the typical Maggie day before we go.

Maggie (shrugs): Consume the hangover cure I just gave you. Shop estate sales. Work on old junk. Sell shit to collectors, decorators, and city folks who want to pretend they live in the country. Eat a slab of meat. Drink cocktails. On a good day, test the bed frame with a friend with benefits. Drink more cocktails. Start over at noon the next day.

Pamela: Friend with benefits?

Maggie: A person to have sex with. I don’t do relationships.

Pamela: What about Hank Sibley from BUCKLE BUNNY?

Maggie: Not up for discussion.

Pamela: Oh, come on. He was the love of your life, wasn’t he?

Maggie (chair scrapes back): Love is bullshit. I told you I wouldn’t talk about him. I’m outta here. (Door shuts behind her as she leaves)

Pamela: And…that was Maggie, folks. Recipes are below. Imbibe at your own risk.

Maggie’s Favorite Cocktail
*One bottle Koltiska Liqueur
*One cocktail glass
Pour two fingers. Sip. Keep sipping. When empty, pour four fingers. Take bigger sips. Repeat until everything feels peachy. For me, that’s when I quit thinking about that SOB Hank Sibley.

Maggie’s Hangover Cure
Sleep until noon. Drink a glass of water. Make and quickly consume Maggie’s Favorite Cocktail. Have someone whip you up some egg and chorizo breakfast tacos. Go back to bed. Second Maggie’s Favorite Cocktail optional.





Pamela Fagan Hutchins is a USA Today best seller. She writes award-winning romantic mysteries from deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. She is passionate about long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs and riding her gigantic horses.

If you'd like Pamela to speak to your book club, women's club, class, or writers' group, by Skype or in person, shoot her an e-mail. She's very likely to say yes. Connect with Pamela on the web.




WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERBOOKBUB
INSTAGRAMGOODREADSAMAZON AUTHOR PAGE


Praise for Pamela Fagan Hutchins

2018 USA Today Best Seller
2017 WINNER Silver Falchion Award, Best Mystery
2016 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction
2015 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction
2014 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Cross Genre Fiction
2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-finalist, Romance
2013 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Business: Publishing
2012 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story Contest
2012 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Parenting: Divorce
2011 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest, Mainstream
2010 Winner of the Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest, Romance
-----------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

FIRST PRIZE
Signed paperback of Live Wire + eBook of Buckle Bunny + $5 Amazon Gift Card
SECOND PRIZE
Signed paperback of Live Wire + eBook of Buckle Bunny 
THIRD PRIZE
Signed paperback of Live Wire
PLUS, ALL WINNERS
Audio downloads of Fighting for Anna and Searching for Dime Box
March 6-16, 2019
(International)

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

3/6/19
Character Interview
3/7/19
Review
3/7/19
Review
3/8/19
Series Spotlight
3/8/19
Series Spotlight
3/9/19
Review
3/9/19
Review
3/10/19
Guest Post
3/11/19
Review
3/11/19
Review
3/12/19
Character Spotlight
3/13/19
Review
3/13/19
Review
3/14/19
Author Interview
3/15/19
Review
3/15/19
Review


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