Sunday, May 31, 2020

Lone Star Literary Life - May 31, 2020

This Sunday morning and every Sunday morning, the new edition of Lone Star Literary Life is hot off the pixels!  

Follow the link for the latest Texas bookish news, reviews, interviews, and goings-on, then subscribe to the newsletter--it's free!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Review: THE DRAGONS, THE GIANT, THE WOMEN

"A tale of courage, daring, and serendipity"

I reviewed The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir (Graywolf Press) by former Texan (by way of Liberia) Wayétu Moore for Lone Star Literary Life!

"Moore is no longer a new transplant, but she is still dislocated, still running, 'never arriving,' having grown up in a place where she was crowned homecoming queen under the Friday night lights, but where 'skin color was king—king above nationality, king above life stories, and, yes, even king above Christ.' Enneh-so?"

Please follow this link to read the entire review at Lone Star Lit.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Character Interview & Giveaway: STORMS OF MALHADO

STORMS OF MALHADO
by
MARIA ELENA SANDOVICI
Genre: Historical Fiction / Ghosts
Publisher: Independently Published
Date of Publication: March 26, 2020
Number of Pages: 252


Scroll down for the giveaway!


Galveston Island, Texas, September 2008 Katie doesn’t believe in ghosts. And she certainly doesn’t believe the rumors that her family’s home is haunted, despite its tragic history: two young women who lived there in different eras died in hurricanesone during Hurricane Carla in 1961, one during the Great Storm of 1900, the greatest natural disaster to befall the United States. But that was the past, a fact Katie reminds herself of when she returns to Galveston to await Hurricane Ike with her parents and boyfriend in her family’s Broadway mansion, hoping to rekindle her flailing relationship.

While Katie is not afraid of the ghost stories she’s heard, she is afraid of the monster storm approaching. As even die-hard Islanders evacuate, her fears grow
—fear of the looming hurricane, fear that she’s talentless as a painter, fear that her relationship with her boyfriend is already over. As Katie struggles against her fears, the past whispers to her of the women who died there and the haunting similarities they share with Katie’s own life. 

Through three different timelines, Storms of Malhado weaves a story of Galveston’s past, underscoring its danger and isolation, as well as its remarkable resilience, and its capacity for both nostalgia and reinvention. Full of contradictions, at once insular and open to the world, Galveston Island is as much a character of the novel as Katie, Suzanne, Betty, their lovers, and their confidantes.

PRAISE FOR STORMS OF MALHADO:

“Taking place entirely on a beautifully moody Galveston Island, Ms. Sandovici weaves three simultaneous stories with ease. With a timeless tale, ethereal language, and complicated characters, readers will be entranced by this modern ghost story. How many times can the past repeat itself? How do we recognize people through generations? The author tackles this topic amid a backdrop of violent nature and intangible dreamscapes." 

—Courtney Brandt, author of The Queen of England: Coronation, Grand Tour, Ascension

”Three women, three great storms, and one house, haunted by forbidden love and frustrated ambition. Get ready to be swept away by Sandovici’s foray into Galveston Island’s tempestuous history in this tale of lives intertwined across time.”
—Donna Dechen Birdwell, author of Not Knowing

CLICK TO PURCHASE
Amazon




Interview with artist Katie Ann Williams, from Storms of Malhado, on her new show on Galveston Island, twelve years after Ike


Katie, your career as an abstract artist has taken you to some of the most exclusive galleries and museums all over the world. How does it feel to be back in Galveston?

It feels wonderful to be back home! I love the idea of things coming full circle. I celebrate this in my work. And for me, this always means coming back to the island. I know some people think I’m weird when I talk about this. Others think it’s fascinating. But I feel like my connection to this island goes back into my past lives. It’s a deep connection.

How has Galveston changed since Ike?

Like me, Galveston has experienced a true rebirth. I couldn’t be prouder of it. I was here for Ike. I saw the devastation with my own eyes. Some businesses had to move to new buildings. Others sustained a lot of damage but were able to restore. If you walk around downtown, you’ll see several markers of where the water line was. But, after all the loss and sadness, some beautiful things happened. Have you seen the Pleasure Pier? That’s where the old Flagship Hotel stood. It was a ruin after Ike and now we have this new attraction. Have you been on the carousel yet? It’s so magical!

Of course, things were lost that we can never get back. The Balinese Room is gone. Completely gone. People we all loved are gone too. But Galveston rebuilt because it’s hardwired for survival. I used to think we were all stuck in the past, forever mourning the glory days before the Storm of 1900. I used to think you can’t grow when you feed on nostalgia. But nostalgia is a beautiful thing. Think about poetry, about art, about romance, and enchantment. The past doesn’t have to hold you back. We have a lot of history here on the island. We can use it to inspire us and to inspire others. I love being in touch with my past selves. So does Galveston. It’s a source of power.

Are you concerned that your show might be postponed because of COVID-19?

I’m hardly ever concerned about anything. Hurricanes make you patient. So does art. I know what’s important, and on a day-to-day basis, it’s painting and sharing my work with others. My show is in the summer, and by then I hope it will be safe for people to come. If not, we will put it online. There’s always a solution. I’m also eager for the Bathing Beauties contest to take place on August 1. I’m very much looking forward to it because a good friend is in it.

What is your new show about?

Ironically, in these strange times when we are realizing how little control we have over everything, my show is about surrendering, letting things happen, letting emotions flow. Abstract art is scary because it requires the artist to let go of control. I’ve always struggled with this, but it’s taught me many things. Mostly about following my instincts, accepting my feelings, and trying to be fully present.

What is your favorite place on Galveston Island?

Can I pick three? Seriously, one favorite spot on this beautiful island … East Beach, definitely East Beach, that place where you can be alone in nature, where you might encounter coyotes, where the cargo ships look close enough to touch, but I also love standing in front of the Basilica and seeing Mary up there protecting us all. And I love my parents’ historical home on Broadway.

Where should people stay, eat, and shop if they come to the island to see your show?


My mom’s B&B is booked up, but you can rent a sweet little historical house through Airbnb (see if you can get Little Winnie—you can thank me later!) or stay at the Tremont House. I love that hotel! Eat at Maceo’s! Best muffulettas ever, but seriously, everything is good and made with love and the atmosphere is unbeatable. You’ll want to bottle the scent and take it home. Shop at Tangerine Boutique, but don’t miss the Witchery, Kitchen Chick, Hendley Market, and, for a special kind of treat, check out the Island Music Center on Rosenberg. You also want to stop in at René Wiley Gallery (check out my friend Rachel Wiley’s work while there) and go see Nautical Antiques on Mechanic. And Tippy Toes! If you come into town as early as Thursday, or don’t leave until Sunday, do yourself a favor and check out Galveston’s Own Farmers’ Market. Buy the bread from Galveston Bread. Sanitize your hands and dig in!




Maria Elena Sandovici is a full-time writer, artist, and gallery owner living in Houston, Texas. After obtaining a Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2005, her curiosity led her to Texas, where she taught at Lamar University for fourteen years. She felt attracted to Galveston Island from her first visit and lived there part-time for three years before her artistic career took her to Houston. 

Sandovici is a 2008 graduate of John Ross Palmer's Escapist Mentorship Program, a program that teaches artists business skills. She resigned from her tenured academic position in December 2018 and opened her own private gallery space. Her previous works of fiction are Dogs with Bagels, Stray Dogs and Lonely Beaches, Lost Path to Solitude, The Adventures of Miss Vulpe, and Lone Wolf. She is also the author of Stop and Smell the Garbage, a volume of poetry in the voice of her dog, Holly Golightly. You can follow her daily adventures on her blog HaveWatercolorsWillTravel.blog.
-----------------------
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
ONE WINNER receives a signed copy of Storms of Malhado
MAY 21-31, 2020
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:


5/21/20
Notable Quotable
5/21/20
Review
5/22/20
Author Video
5/22/20
Review
5/23/20
Playlist
5/24/20
Excerpt
5/25/20
Character Interview
5/25/20
Review
5/26/20
Review
5/27/20
Excerpt
5/28/20
Guest Post
5/28/20
Review
5/29/20
Scrapbook
5/30/20
Review
5/30/20
Review


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Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar May 25-31, 2020

Bookish goings-on[line] in Texas for the week of May 24-31, 2020, compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.   

Special events include on online version of Houston's annual Boldface Writers' Conference. Most events are still online via Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom, and other venues. 

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

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Lone Star Literary Life May 24, 2020

This Sunday morning and every Sunday morning, the new edition of Lone Star Literary Life is hot off the pixels!  

Follow the link for the latest Texas bookish news, reviews, interviews, and goings-on, then subscribe to the newsletter--it's free!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Blog Tour & Giveaway: THE FIRST EMMA

THE FIRST EMMA
by
Camille Di Maio

Historical Fiction / Historical Romance / Women's Fiction
Publisher: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing
Date of Publication: May 5, 2020
Number of Pages: 315

Scroll down for the giveaway!



The First Emma is the true story of Emma Koehler, whose tycoon husband Otto was killed in a crime-of-the-century murder by one of his two mistresses – both also named Emma – and her unlikely rise as CEO of a brewing empire during Prohibition. When a chance to tell her story to a young teetotaler arises, a tale unfolds of love, war, beer, and the power of women.


PRAISE for The First Emma
“Di Maio’s take on a shocking American drama pleasantly blends romantic and historical fiction . . . a sweet memorialization of a real-life female business pioneer in San Antonio.” —Kirkus

“A beautifully crafted portrait of an intriguing woman. Mystery and romance are set against the backdrop of fascinating pieces of twentieth-century history, and a richly drawn setting leaves the reader feeling wholly immersed. Historical fiction fans will love this one!” —Chanel Cleeton, NYT bestselling author of Next Year in Havana

“Di Maio does a brilliant job of weaving together all the threads—from past to present—while unearthing a tale of blossoming love, the power of our chosen family, and the losses that make us whole again.” —Rochelle B. Weinstein, USA Today bestselling author of This Is Not How It Ends


CLICK TO ORDER ON:
  Amazon  ┃  Barnes and Noble 
  Indiebound┃  Bookshop.org  




Camille Di Maio always dreamed of being a writer, though she took a winding path of waitressing, temping, politicking, and real estate to get there. It all came to fruition with the publication of her bestselling debut, The Memory of Us, followed by Before the Rain Falls, The Way of Beauty, and The Beautiful Strangers. In addition to writing, she loves farmers' markets, unashamedly belts out Broadway tunes when the mood strikes, and regularly faces her fear of flying to indulge her passion for travel. Married for twenty-three years, she home-schools their four children. (Though the first two are off at college now!) She is happy to live in Virginia near a beach. 



-------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
ONE WINNER receives a signed copy of The First Emma 
May 19-29, 2020
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR
DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:


5/19/20
Promo
5/19/20
BONUS Post
5/20/20
Review
5/21/20
Author Video
5/22/20
Review
5/23/20
Excerpt Part 1
5/24/20
Excerpt Part 2
5/25/20
Review
5/26/20
Excerpt Part 3
5/27/20
Review
5/28/20
Review


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Monday, May 18, 2020

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar May 18-24, 2020

Bookish goings-on[line] in Texas for the week of May 18-24, 2020, compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.   

Special events include a virtual book festival brought to you by the San Antonio Book Festival and the DoSeum. Most events are still online via Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom, and other venues. 

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

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Lone Star Literary Life May 17, 2020

This Sunday morning and every Sunday morning, the new edition of Lone Star Literary Life is hot off the pixels!  

Follow the link for the latest Texas bookish news, reviews, interviews, and goings-on, then subscribe to the newsletter--it's free!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway: THANK YOU, GARDEN

THANK YOU, GARDEN
By LIZ GARTON SCANLON
Illustrated by Simone Shin
Children's Picture Book / Poetry / Environment / Ages 3-7
Publisher: Beach Lane Books / Simon & Schuster
Date of Publication: March 3, 2020
Number of Pages: 32


A community garden unites neighbors in this celebration of all the things that grow there, from flowers and fruits, to friendships! 

This ode to working together for a better world will have young readers wanting to plant gardens of their own!
CLICK TO PURCHASE





Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of many beloved books for kids, including the brand new Thank You, Garden, as well as the Caldecott Honor book All the World and others, including several co-authored with her pal Audrey Vernick. Scanlon also wrote the middle grade novel The Great Good Summer and is published in numerous poetry anthologies. She serves on the faculty of the Vermont Faculty of Fine Arts and is a frequent and popular presenter at conferences and festivals. Find more about her life and work at www.LizGartonScanlon.com





Follow illustrator Simone Shin on Instagram!


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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS

Each winner gets an autographed/personalized copy of
THANK YOU, GARDEN and ANOTHER WAY TO CLIMB A TREE
MAY 14-21, 2020
(US ONLY)

VISIT THE LONE STAR LIT TOUR PAGE FOR OTHER GREAT BLOGS PARTICIPATING IN THE BLITZ


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