Monday, June 24, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar June 24-30, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of June 24-30, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Poolside Reads: Texas Book Festival Book Giveaway, Austin, June 26

Texas Shakespeare Festival, Kilgore, June 27-July 28

Writers' League of Texas 2019 Agents & Editors Conference, Austin, June 28-30

North Texas Comic Book Show, Irving, June 29-30


Checkered Past Winery, Dallas Poetry Slam presents DFW Unplugged, 8PM

Interabang Books, Lauren Kate reading and signing THE ORPHAN’S SONG, 6PM

The Wild Detectives, The Writer's Garret Stone Soup Poetry Workshop, 7PM

El Paso
The Black Orchid Lounge, Barbed Wire Open Mic Series, 8PM

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

Avant Garden, Write About Now: Haiku Death Match featuring Christopher Michael, 7:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Michael Parker reading and signing PRAIRIE FEVER, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Lauren Kate will sign and discuss The Orphan's Song, 6:30PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Jack Grubbs discussing and signing The Legacy of Maggie Dixon, 5PM

BookPeople, JIMMY & CHRISTINE MOORE speaking & signing Real Food Keto & KEN BERRY speaking & signing Lies My Doctor Told Me, 7PM

Central Presbyterian Church, ELAINE WELTEROTH speaking and signing More Than Enough, 7PM [ticketed event]

Burrowing Owl Books, Poetry Circle with the High Plains Poetry Project, 7PM

DART's Westmoreland Station, Writer's Garret's Rail Writer's Community Ride, 9AM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe will discuss and sign her latest novel, The Summer Guests, 7PM

Interabang Books, Michael Parker reading and signing PRAIRIE FEVER, 6PM

Lochwood Branch Library, Tejana Cosmica with Latina poets, 6:30PM

El Paso
B-17 Bombers Oyster Pub, Barbed Wire Open Mic, 8PM


Holocaust Museum Houston, For the 75th anniversary of D-Day, renowned author Alex Kershaw will discuss his latest book, The First Wave, 6:30PM

Murder By the Book, Jode Millman will sign and discuss The Midnight Call, 6:30PM

Poison Girl Cocktail Lounge, June Poison Pen Reading with Cameron Dezen Hammon, Amanda Ortiz, and JP Gritton, 8:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Amy Daughters discussing and signing You Cannot Mess This Up: A True Story that Never Happened, 5PM

Alamo Drafthouse, a special screening of the season one finale of A Discovery of Witches with New York Times bestselling historical fantasy author Deborah Harkness plus a special Q&A discussion and book signing, 7PM

Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, LK Farlow Live Author Takeover!, 7PM

Watauga Public Library, Tui Snider discussing and signing 100 Things to Do in Dallas Fort Worth Before You Die, 6:30PM

The Storybook Garden, Ron Ramírez reading and signing A PERFECT BOOK FOR FRIDA, 4PM

Cherrywood Coffeehouse, Poetry: END GAME ~METAPHORICALLY CHALLENGED, 7:40PM

Malvern Books, I Scream Social Reading Series 4th Birthday Bash, 7PM

Bachman Lake Branch Library, Tejana Cosmica with Latina poets, 6PM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, New York Times bestselling thriller author Brad Thor will discuss and sign copies of his latest novel, Backlash, 7PM

Heroes Lounge, Dallas Poetry Slam presents a Dallas Youth Poets Fundraiser, 8PM


Austin History Center, the release of a new book by photographer Bill Leissner: Austin Icons of the Eighties: Music, Theater, Politics, 1:30PM

BookPeople, CASEY CHAPMAN ROSS speaking & signing True To Form, 5PM

Malvern Books, celebrating the launch of McAllen Poet Laureate Edward Vidaurre’s new collection of poetry, JAZzHOUSE, with readings from Edward, as well as Daniel García Ordaz, Reyes Cárdenas, Jo Reyes-Boitel, and Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros, 7PM

The Townsend, Stories From the Road: short stories and off-the-cuff music featuring Audrey Malone, 7:30PM

B&N - Preston/Royal, Crystal Scott-Lindsey signs Communication and You: Explore Issues & Enhance Relationships, 1PM

Bishop Arts Theatre, "Behind Closed Doors: Stories, Taboos, & Life Uncensored" with Executive Artistic Director Teresa Coleman Wash, International Business & Life Strategist Rose Colarossi, and award-winning author Darlene Ellison, 3PM

Interabang Books, Randy Schmidt discussing and signing THE CARPENTERS: AN ILLUSTRATED DISCOGRAPHY, 6PM

El Paso
El Paso Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "El Paso: North of the Pass" with Gustavo Enriquez, 12:45PM


Writespace, Workshop: "Crafting Unconventional Narratives" with Mark Haber, 3PM

The Drawing Board, Writing Workshops Dallas seminar: "Grant Writing Fundamentals" with Megan Harrison, 3PM

San Antonio
B&N - San Pedro, Twinkle Zaman signing Love Notes, 1PM

The Good Kind Southtown, Good Poems at the Good Kind featuring Naomi Shihab Nye (with San Antonian Evan Beaty and San Marcos’ Vanessa Couto Johnson), 4PM

The Twig Book Shop, R.A. Reynolds signing 91 Day Fiancee Marriage: Love or Green Card, 12PM

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Guest Post & Giveaway: WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE

  Genre: Historical / Biographical / Sports Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow 
Date of Publication: October 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 240

Scroll down for giveaway!

A cross between Friday Night Lights and The Atomic City Girls, When The Men Were Gone is a debut historical novel based on the true story of Tylene Wilson, a woman in 1940s Texas who, in spite of extreme opposition, became a female football coach in order to keep her students from heading off to war.

Football is the heartbeat of Brownwood, Texas. Every Friday night for as long as assistant principal Tylene Wilson can remember, the entire town has gathered in the stands, cheering their boys on. Each September brings with it the hope of a good season and a sense of unity and optimism.

Now, the war has changed everything. Most of the Brownwood men over eighteen and under forty-five are off fighting, and in a small town the possibilities are limited. Could this mean a season without football? But no one counted on Tylene, who learned the game at her daddy’s knee. She knows more about it than most men, so she does the unthinkable, convincing the school to let her take on the job of coach.

Faced with extreme opposition by the press, the community, rival coaches, and referees
and even the players themselvesTylene remains resolute. And when her boys rally around her, she leads the teamand the townto a Friday night and a subsequent season they will never forget. 

Based on a true story, When the Men Were Gone is a powerful and vibrant novel of perseverance and personal courage.


"Sublimely ties together the drama of high school football, gender politics, and the impact of war on a small town in Texas.” – Best of Books, 2018, Sports Illustrated

“A beautiful story that stays in your heart long after you finish reading.” - Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author

Based on a true story that most people probably don’t know, readers will find plenty to love in Herrera Lewis’s debut. -- Kirkus Review

By Marjorie Herrera Lewis

I’ve often been asked how I came across the story of Tylene Wilson, a woman who coached football in Brownwood, Texas, during World War II. My answer is simple: serendipity.

After decades of cajoling by my allergy doctor, I finally relented and scheduled myself for allergy-shot testing. My nurse, Jean Van Waters, commented on the T-shirt I was wearing, which declared me a Tulsa Golden Hurricane football fan. “I’m a football fan, too,” Jean said. “The women in my family all love football. Probably because my great-aunt was a football coach during World War II.” I just about fainted. Hearkening back to my days as a sportswriter, I began a stream of questions.

By the time my head had stopped spinning and my adrenaline had stabilized, I stopped asking questions and just let Jean talk. The more she told me about her great-aunt, the more the story resonated with me. I began to believe I was the only one who could tell Tylene’s story with any level of authenticity. In a way, I had lived a similar story, only forty years later and not as a coach but as a sportswriter. Tylene and I had both walked into life experiences we had not sought out, and in many ways we had not been welcome.

I was a sportswriter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram when in 1986 I was asked to temporarily cover the Dallas Cowboys beat during the off-season. My job was to monitor the beat—handle any press announcements, stop by the training facility to see if anything interesting was going on, and check up on any contract talks or free-agent signings. But I loved the thrill of competition, so I set out to develop sources and break stories. I broke a few that caught the attention of my sports editor, Bruce Raben. Bruce liked my tenacity, so he handed the full-time beat to me. What he did not know at the time was that I didn’t want the beat. And the first person to find out was Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm.

I was in the Cowboys public relations office of Greg Aiello when Tex stopped by. He said he’d heard I’d been given the beat. Always the proud Cowboys executive, Tex asked me how it felt to be a beat writer for the best team playing the best sport in the world. My honest reply was not well received. “I prefer college football,” I told him. “I didn’t ask for this assignment, and I’d rather not have it.” His face became fireball red, and I realized that perhaps honesty wasn’t valued as highly as I’d expected. He went on to tell me I was a fool. When he finished scolding me, I asked him why he cared so much. “Does the idea of a twenty-nine-year-old woman, five feet two inches, give you comfort? Because if my appearance leads you to believe I’m a pushover, you'd be wrong.”

From then on, Tex, Coach Tom Landry, and all the other coaches and staff members treated me respectfully and professionally. One football player, however, had a different point of view, and he was eager to share it. I was covering my first training camp at California Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks, California, when I walked from the field at the end of practice alongside a free-agent linebacker who turned to me and said, “You don’t belong here.” I looked at him and said, “I’ve seen you practice, and I’ll be here a lot longer than you will.” He was cut the next day, and I never saw him again. Despite his point of view, at least that football player was honest, and frankly, I appreciated it.

Like Tylene, I had grown up a football fan and had learned the game from my father, William Herrera. Like Tylene, I did not seek my job. And like Tylene, I endured ridicule, even from someone I had thought of as a friend. Tylene’s story resonated with me because we were both unwitting trailblazers. And like Tylene, I had a backstory.

As we see in the book, Tylene wanted the boys to play football—not because she wanted to coach them, but because she didn’t want them to lose their youth prematurely, as her son had. Her son, Billy, died only minutes after his birth. He would have been a senior in high school during the season that Tylene became coach. As Tylene’s grandniece Jean told me, Tylene and John desperately wanted to have children.

I, too, endured a private personal struggle—one my colleagues did not know about—while covering the Cowboys. I, too, wanted to become a mom. I had a miscarriage early on, and while I was a Cowboys beat writer, I had undergone surgery that left my husband, Chuck, and me with no more answers than before it. I was also hospitalized on three occasions—the last time, I awoke to find my husband at the foot of my bed telling me he could no longer stand to see me suffering. He said it was time that we forget about becoming parents. It was a chilling moment.

Although we eventually had two daughters, I understand Tylene in many ways. I believe Tylene’s life must be memorialized. Tylene was a woman whose life transcended football, who discovered what she was capable of even when she didn’t seek it, and who brought joy to a grieving town during a time of war, even if only for three hours on a Friday night.

This is why I am telling her story.

Marjorie Herrera Lewis is an award-winning sportswriter, named the first female Dallas Cowboys beat writer when she was with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She later joined the SportsDay staff of The Dallas Morning News, where she continued to cover the NFL and professional tennis. She is currently a contributing sportswriter for 

While writing When the Men Were Gone, she became inspired to try her hand at coaching football herself and was added to the Texas Wesleyan University football coaching staff in December 2016. Marjorie has degrees from Arizona State University, the University of Texas in Arlington, Southern New Hampshire University, and certificates from Southern Methodist University and Cornell University. She is married and has two grown daughters and one son-in-law.
June 18-28, 2019

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar June 17-23, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of June 17-23, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Kitchen Dog Theater's 21st Annual New Works Festival, Dallas, June 15-29

The Moth StorySLAM's GrandSLAM Championship: THE HEAT IS ON, Houston, June 19

13th Annual African American Book Festival, Austin, June 22

Rusk County Library Festival of Words, Henderson, June 22

DFW Con: The Dallas-Forth Worth Writers Conference, Hurst, June 22-23

Austin Film Festival Writers Day Retreat, Elgin, June 23

A Time and Place for Everything: Peter Brown, Abilene, June 6-November 1


El Paso
The Black Orchid Lounge, Barbed Wire Open Mic Series, 8PM

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Juneteenth Celebration and Open Mic, 8PM

Murder By the Book, Carolyn Kirby will sign The Conviction of Cora Burns, 6:30PM

The Cold Brew Rock Bar, Laredo BorderSlam presents The Happy Hour Slam, 6PM

Pflugerville Public Library, Storytime with Carolina Storyteller, 10AM & 11AM
Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, EM Rinaldi Live Author Takeover, 7PM

Austin Book Arts Center, "Between the Lines and Beneath the Spines" with book conservator and Book Whisperer Mary Baughman, plus surprise guests (Bring your own books and Mary will interpret their secrets), 6PM

BookPeople, SUSAN JANE GILMAN speaking & signing Donna Has Left the Building, 7PM

BookPeople, WRITERS' LEAGUE OF TEXAS presents "Practice Makes Pitch Perfect" with Lance Fitzgerald of The Crown Publishing Group and Becka Oliver, 7PM

BookWoman, ATX Interfaces: Reading & Open Mic featuring Faylita Hicks, Zai Sadler, and Jasmine C. Bell, 7PM

Burrowing Owl Books, A Literary Reading by Seth Wieck, 7PM

Cleburne Public Library, an evening with Julie Cantrell, author of Perennials, 6:30PM

Interabang Books, Amy Daughters discussing and signing YOU CANNOT MESS THIS UP, 6PM

Abilene Library South, "Who I Could Be" with author Penny Klostermann, 4:30PM

BookWoman, Book Talk: Yo Soy Único e Irrepetible with Sheila Morataya, 6PM [Spanish event]

Carver Museum, "Jump Into Writing & Publishing: A Seminar" with Angela Shelf Medearis, in conjunction with the Carver Museum's exhibition of her work and the African American Book Festival, 1PM

Malvern Books, the release of Michael Parker’s new novel, Prairie Fever (in conversation with Laura Furman), 7PM

Patrick Heath Public Library, "The Art of Writing Workshops: Poetry & Prose" with author D. Ellis Phelps, 1PM

Cedar Park
Half Price Books, local author Cindy Koch will sign her self-help fable, The Wilbur Effect, 12PM

B&N - Preston/Royal, George Arnold signs copies of his Mystery novels, Cats of the CIA books and other titles, 10AM

Dallas Contemporary, Wordspace presents "Gates: Writing and Performance" workshop with Thomas Riccio, 1PM

Dallas Contemporary, Wordspace presents "Gates: Writing and Yoga" workshop with poet Karen Minzer and yoga therapist Michelle Andrie, 3:30PM

Dallas Public Library, Juneteenth 2019: a special presentation from literary scholar Deborah Plant, editor of Zora Neale Hurston’s posthumously published book, Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo, a 1927 memoir of one of the last survivors of the transatlantic slave trade, 2PM

Deep Vellum Books, Pegasus Reading Series featuring Kendra Allen, Alejandra Ramos Gómez, Simon Han, and Kevin West, 7PM

Fretz Park Public Library, Oral Fixation presents "Freedman's Town to Botham Jean: Stories For Racial Healing," 2PM

Meadows Conference Center, Dallas Area Writers Group Summer Workshop: "Making it Real" presented by Rachel Caine, 9AM

Pan African Connection, Shennette Garrett-Scott signing Banking on Freedom, 5:30PM

REvolution Cafe & Bookstore, Velvet - Nights in Harlem: a finely curated exhibition of poets, visual artists, jazz musicians, comedians, dancers, live painting, and more, 7PM

El Paso
El Paso Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "Love Poems For the End of the World" with Lawrence Barrett, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Eartha Gatlin signing The Chronicles of Bria Twon, 2PM

Fort Worth Central Library, Juneteenth Jubilee with Deborah Plant, editor of Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo, 2PM