Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2020



Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of September 27-October 4, 2020, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life. 

Special events this week include the Houston SCBWI 2020 conference, the Boerne Book & Arts Festival, the 2nd annual Houston Literary Awards, and Waco's WordFest. 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, September 27, 2020

Lone Star Literary Life - Sept. 27, 2020


Lone Star Literary Life is brand new, hot off the pixels, and nutritious. 

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

Friday, September 25, 2020

Sneak Peek & Giveaway: THE DIARY OF ASSER LEVY

First Jewish Citizen
of New York

Genre: Historical Fiction / Middle Grade / Jewish / Colonial America
Publisher: Pelican (Arcadia Publishing)
Date of Publication: March 9, 2020
Number of Pages: 128

  Scroll down for the giveaway!

For twenty-four years the Dutch colony of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil was a safe haven for Jews who had escaped the Inquisition in Europe. Recife, its capital, was known as “Colonial Jerusalem,” and it was from this religiously tolerant town that Asser Levy tells his story. When the Portuguese recaptured the territory in 1654, they brought the Inquisition and its torments with them, forcing Asser and his family and friends to flee to Holland. About fifteen ships arrive safely in Holland; Asser’s ship does not. 

Through imagined diary entries based on real events, Asser tells the harrowing story of the Jewish refugees who arrived on the island of Manhattan and of some of the first court battles fought to allow religious freedom in America.

“The book breathes life into a little-known yet important Jewish figure of early New Amsterdam and New York. Through a series of diary entries based on fact and the author’s creation, the author brings out the emotion, drama, and conflicts of Asser Levy’s turbulent journey to a new land in search of religious freedom. ... The book will add color to classroom lessons on early US history and on Jewish immigration.” —Paul Kaplan, author of Jewish New York: A History and Guide to Neighborhoods, Synagogues, and Eateries 

"What an extraordinary amount of research went into it! And what a creative way of combining historical fiction and contemporary pictures. Kudos!” —Cynthia Levinson, author of The Youngest Marcher

"What a fine job [Daniela] did with this story! ... The diary-style keeps the pace moving, and the adventures make it exciting. Lots of setting details bring the scenes alive, and the dialogue engages the reader in the plot. I can see how it will be easy for a young reader to identify with Asser, worrying about how (and if) he’ll succeed in his quest.” —Gail Jarrow, author of Fatal Fever


Sneak Peek at The Diary of Asser Levy

by Daniela Weil


The Diary of Asser Levy is a middle-grade book based on history but fictionalized into diary form. Yet it has many elements of a nonfiction book, like side bars, to give historical context to the action occurring in those pages. 

Many maps and documents enrich the learning experience. In addition, the book contains a glossary, a timeline, links to websites, and a detailed bibliography. 

A first of its kind, six-page guide to all the places that can be visited today is found in the backmatter, with pictures, explanations, and addresses.  


Daniela Weil was born in Brazil. She attended the International School in São Paulo, where she was surrounded by people and cultures from around the world. It was also there that she developed a passion for nature, art, and writing. After earning a BA in biology from Brandeis University in Boston, Weil became a field research biologist. She participated in various whale projects, including illustrating the first field guide for whales and dolphins in Brazil.

Being a mother rekindled her desire to share her passion about the natural world. She joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and attended workshops on writing nonfiction and science for kids. After writing several articles on science and history, she ventured into books. Weil attended the Texas Library Association annual conference with her SCBWI group and met the folks from Pelican, who were intrigued by her middle-grade book idea. As the project developed, her research took her back to Brazil and across the world, chasing Asser’s experiences.

When not on the hunt for new experiences, Weil makes her home in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Erik, and daughter, Lucy.

ONE WINNER gets a signed hardcover copy of the book.
 September 22-October 2, 2020
(U.S. Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or, visit the blogs directly:


Book Trailer

Chapter Break Book Blog



Hall Ways Blog


Author Interview

Max Knight



StoreyBook Reviews


Sneak Peek

Texas Book Lover



Reading by Moonlight


Author Interview

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews


Top Ten

All the Ups and Downs



Librariel Book Adventures


Scrapbook Page

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife



Book Bustle

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Deleted Scene & Giveaway: SOMETHING WORTH DOING

A Novel of an Early Suffragist
Jane Kirkpatrick

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction 
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: September 1, 2020 
Number of Pages: 336

 Scroll down for the giveaway!

Some things are worth doingeven when the cost is great In 1853, Abigail Scott was a nineteen-year-old schoolteacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family, what she sees as a working woman appalls herand prompts her to devote her life to fighting for the rights of women, including the right to vote. 

Based on a true story, Something Worth Doing will resonate with modern women who still grapple with the pull between career and family, finding their place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices when competing in male-dominated spaces.

"I have long admired Jane Kirkpatrick's rich historical fiction, and Something Worth Doing is well worth reading! Oregonian Abigail Duniway is a vibrant, fiercely passionate, and determined activist who fought for women's suffrage. Women of today have cause to respect and admire heras well as the loving, patient, and supportive husband who encouraged her to continue 'the silent hunt.'" Francine Rivers, author of Redeeming Love 

"On the trail to Oregon, young Jenny Scott lost her beloved mother and little brother and learned that no matter what, she must persist until she reaches her goal. Remembering her mother's words'a woman's life is so hard'the young woman who became Abigail Scott Duniway came to understand through observation and experience that law and custom favored men. The author brings alive Abigail's struggles as frontier wife and mother turned newspaper publisher, prolific writer, and activist in her lifelong battle to win the vote and other rights for women in Oregon and beyond. Jane Kirkpatrick's story of this persistent, passionate, and bold Oregon icon is indeed Something Worth Doing!" Susan G. Butruille, author of Women's Voices from the Oregon Trail, now in a 25th anniversary edition


Deleted Scene from Something Worth Doing 

by Jane Kirkpatrick

Scenes left on the cutting room floor . . . Wisps of this scene are still in Something Worth Doing, but this was one of what I call “outtakes,” which are scenes I like and don’t want to cut but that seem too long and take the reader where I want them to go, but the character isn’t quite so sure of that. I pull the whole scene out and save it as an outtake. Sometimes it comes back in; often it doesn’t.

This scene is between Abigail and her sister, and it felt like I was “telling” the reader how Abigail didn’t always feel that she was a great mother, her work taking her away often. I ended up reworking the novel as a whole to create more opportunity for readers to “see” Abigail as a good mother and, at the same time, as one who struggled with her career, knowing that to pursue women’s rights and getting women the vote often meant being away from home for weeks—sometimes months—at a time. 

This scene had too many things going on, especially toward the end with two new named characters who do not appear in the finished book! And the scene was to be about Abigail and her parenting, not about her frustration with Ben bringing his friends around. That’s another scene! 


“I don’t suppose the Argus newspaper needs filtering though, does it?” Catherine bounced Clara on her hip while Abigail knelt on the warm earth setting vegetable starts in the garden, carrots and beans she’d been nurturing in egg shells and potato boats since March. Abigail patted the ground around the seedlings. It had been a wet, cool spring and now summer had burst upon them. Her seedlings begged to bloom. Catherine’s visit was a boon to Abigail when the two could talk about teaching and writing and life, pleasant interruptions to her wifely duties.

“The Argus deals with hide prices and women’s recipes so we can’t get into too much trouble reading it. But the articles don’t stimulate the mind much either and persons needs that, even farm wives. At least I do. Read News of the World and the Spectator, just don’t accept everything as gospel.”  She lifted her eyes in time to watch a breeze flutter across the field brushing bachelor buttons, grasses, the movement easing toward them like an invisible wave until it reached her seedlings and cooled her face. “Did you see that?”

“See what?”

“The way you can actually see weather changing. All was quiet and then with barely a flutter, the entire field began to wave and carried the breeze right here.”

Catherine shrugged her shoulder; looked confused by why such an observation would mean so much to Abigail.

“Never mind,” Abigail said. “I suppose I’m twisted as an old oak, finding metaphors where no one else does. It’s that change happens so invisibly at times, one hardly notices. Like Clara. Just yesterday she babbled like she carried on a conversation with inflections and bursts of sounds that made no sense and then this morning, voila! She said ‘mama mama’.”

“I’ve been working with her on that.” Clara bobbed her head toward Catherine’s. She’d seen her sister and daughter perform that little finish of an interaction, almost like a punctuation. A tiny stab of envy pierced her. That was silly. She and Clara had little dances, too, though a few looked like tangoes rather than a waltz.

“Your teaching gifts are showing then,” Abigail said. She kept her gaze at the field where all the foliage whispered, aspen leaves fluttered. She decided then to write something down about what she’d seen, how change crept up on people when not expected, how the language of the landscape spoke as loudly as words sometimes.

She stood wanting to keep the images in her mind until she could put them to paper but then Ben came into view, riding from a distance. He wasn’t alone and Abigail’s stomach lurched. She loved the man but she was tired and Ben had a way of attracting friends, mostly bachelors, who had no problem accepting Ben’s invitation to stick their boots beneath the Duniway table. She wished one of them would marry so she could have a friend or two to talk to while the men smoked their pipes and waited for her to boil potatoes, fry up liver and add caramelized onions.

“Looks like we’ve company for supper,” Catherine said.

“At least it isn’t on wash day,” Abigail said. She gasped as she turned toward the house.

“Are you alright?”

“I haven’t been right since Clara’s birth,” Abigail said. “But I’m able to sit up and take nourishment. Not to worry. But I’ll let you carry Clara in. My back…not to mention my stomach wants to be a whirlpool.”

“Maybe you’re with child,” Catherine whispered.

“Mercy me, no!”

Catherine helped Abigail stand as the riders came into the yard.

“We have guests, Mrs. Duniway.” Ben doffed his hat to her, nodded to Catherine then swept his hat to indicate his two friends. Abigail knew them. Bryce and Joshua. They worked on neighboring farms several miles distant. Abigail thought of the woman at that farm relieved of two for supper though she’d have them back for breakfast come morning.

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, including One More River to Cross, Everything She Didn't Say, All Together in One Place, A Light in the Wilderness, The Memory Weaver, This Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. 

Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. Jane divides her time between Central Oregon and California with her husband, Jerry, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Caesar. 

  Website Bookbub  Facebook Twitter  Pinterest ║ Amazon  Goodreads

1st: Copy of Something Worth Doing + Oregon Map Bag
+ $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card;
2nd and 3rd:
Copy of Something Worth Doing + $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card. 
SEPTEMBER 15-25, 2020 
or visit the blogs directly:

Character Interview
Author Interview
Scrapbook Page
Deleted Scene
BONUS Review

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Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Sept 20-27, 2020



Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of September 20-27, 2020, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life. 

Special events this week include the Texas Latino and Pflugerville Library comic cons. 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.