Sunset with gulls flying, the setting sun as a clock showing 2:00, and an hourglass half empty

Live and Love in Two Hours

How long is two hours?  Do you think you could live and love in two hours?  Probably not.  After all, what can you do in two hours?  You can watch four I Love Lucy reruns.  Or you can read a few chapters in a book.  You can drink several cups of coffee, and maybe even get rid of them, depending on your system.  Maybe you can make yourself a meal or a snack that you don’t really want, and eat it anyway, and then still feel empty afterwards.  After thinking about it, there’s really a good number of things you do in two hours.  But there is one thing that I never before thought about doing in two hours:  watching someone die. Continue reading Live and Love in Two Hours

Aransas Morning

ARANSAS MORNING
by
JEFF HAMPTON
  Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Life
Date of Publication: September 22, 2017
Number of Pages: 304

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When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas, Texas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.


Continue reading Aransas Morning

Elephant Dreams

ELEPHANT DREAMS
by
MARTHA DEERINGER
  Genre: Young Adult / Historical Fiction / Sweet Romance
Publisher: Melange Books
Date of Publication: September 2, 2017
Number of Pages: 224

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Desperate to escape her squalid life on the streets of New York City, sixteen-year-old Fiona Finn seeks help at the magnificent Church of the Ascension where Charles Loring Brace, a social reformer horrified by the plight of New York City’s street children, arranges for her to go west aboard an Orphan Train.
Fiona’s homeless, alcoholic father has other plans, however.  He wants Fiona to “work” the streets to support his drinking and pursues her across the midwest until she is forced to abandon the train in Houston to avoid a sheriff bent on returning her to her father.
Alone in the dark on the Texas prairie, Fiona’s terrifying experience with a circus elephant, Bolivar, sets the stage for a future she could never have imagined.

Continue reading Elephant Dreams

Palo Duro

PALO DURO
by
MAX L. KNIGHT
  Genre: Historical Fiction / Western
Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.
Date of Publication: September 2, 2017
Number of Pages: 226
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Westward expansion following the civil war ushered in an era of increased conflict between the Southern Plains Indians and white settlers. Peace treaties offered temporary suspension of hostilities, but more often than not resulted in broken promises as the two cultures clashed over land. The construction of frontier forts and towns, the decimation of the buffalo herds, the movement of cattle through Indian lands to burgeoning western markets, – all of these forces threatened a way of life that had existed for centuries.
The Comanche, the Southern Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Apache all fought to protect their customs and homelands. The clashes were characterized by savagery on both sides – Indian and white. However, finite numbers and options would ensure the tribes’ defeat; they faced certain death or forced relocation and their days were numbered.

Continue reading Palo Duro

Anahuac

ANAHUAC
A Texas Story (Volume 2)
by
WILLIAM D. DARLING
  Genre: Historical Fiction / Thriller
Publisher: Canned Peas Productions
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 244
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The Anahuac of 1972 is more than just an isolated outpost on Texas’s Trinity Bay – it’s a place where greed and justice uncomfortably intermingle, where the evangelical fervor of charismatic preachers resonate, where blacks and whites navigate a fragile co-existence, and where a murder leads to even darker mysteries than murder. 
Jim Ward, introduced in Morgan’s Point as a young, idealistic Houston prosecutor, returns in Anahuac as an older, more conflicted, more complicated man, coming to Anahuac to defend a man who appears guilty of a horrible crime. His discoveries lead to entanglements in the very nature of good and evil, in a town that is at once of its time and timeless, steeped in a history that is unexpectedly but definitively drawing Ward in its narrative web.

Continue reading Anahuac

Missing Isaac

MISSING ISAAC
by
VALERIE FRASER LUESSE
  Genre: Southern Fiction / Christian / Coming of Age
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: January 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 352

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Isaac believed in luck. But from Pete’s point of view, Isaac’s luck had all run out.When Pete McLean loses his father in the summer of 1962, his friend Isaac is one of the few people he can lean on. Though their worlds are as different as black and white, friendship knows no color. So when Isaac suddenly goes missing, Pete is determined to find out what happened—no matter what it costs him. His quest will lead him into parts of town that he knows only through rumors and introduce him to a girl who will change his life. What they discover together will change the small Southern town of Glory, Alabama—forever. Continue reading Missing Isaac

Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

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BONNIE AND CLYDE:

Resurrection Road
Book One in a New Trilogy

by
CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL
  
Genre:  Alternative Historical Fiction / Thriller
Date of Publication: April 22, 2017
Pages: 308
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
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Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road book cover
In an alternate timeline, legendary lovers Bonnie and Clyde are given one last shot at redemption.
The story begins in 1984 when a reporter gets a tip to meet an old woman at a Texas cemetery. Cradling an antique rifle and standing over a freshly dug grave, the old woman claims to be Bonnie Parker. Turns out, she says, it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde who were ambushed fifty years earlier. Instead, the outlaws were kidnapped, forced into a covert life and given a deadly mission—save President Roosevelt from an assassination plot financed by industrialists determined to sink the New Deal.
Thrust into a fight against greed they didn’t ask for, but now must win in order to save themselves and their families, will the notorious duo overcome their criminal pasts and put their “skills” to use fighting for justice for the working class?
Cutting back and forth between the modern era where the shocked reporter investigates the potential scoop-of-the-century, and the desperate undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934, Resurrection Road is a page-turning sleep-wrecker.
Bonnie and Clyde. Saving democracy, one bank robbery at a time. 

Continue reading Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

Bluster’s Last Stand – The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax

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BLUSTER’S LAST STAND

The Memoirs of
H.H. Lomax, #4

by
PRESTON LEWIS
  Genre:  Historical Western Fiction / Humor
Date of Publication: November 15, 2017
Publisher: Wild Horse Press

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Events on the Little Bighorn might have turned out better for George Armstrong Custer had he listened to H.H. Lomax rather than trying to kill him.  To save his own skin—and scalp!—Lomax must outwit Custer and his troopers as well as face hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors swarming Last Stand Hill. 
At least that is how Lomax in his inimitable style tells the story in this humorous romp across Old West history.  Lomax’s latest misadventures take him from the Battle of Adobe Walls to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show.  In between, he’s a bouncer in a Waco whorehouse, a prospector in the Black Hills, a bartender in a Dakota Territory saloon and a combatant in the worst defeat in the history of the frontier Army. 
Along the way, Lomax crosses paths with Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, General Custer, his brother Tom Custer and the troopers of the Seventh Cavalry as well as hordes of Comanche, Kiowa, Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, not to mention the most dangerous adversary of all—a newspaper reporter with ambition.
Told with Lomax’s characteristic wit, Bluster’s Last Stand puts a new spin on the Little Bighorn and its aftermath.  Whether you believe him or not, you’ve got to admire Lomax’s luck and pluck in both surviving one of the darkest days in Old West history and writing about the disaster in the latest volume of The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax.

Continue reading Bluster’s Last Stand – The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax

Up Near Dallas

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UP NEAR DALLAS
Winds of Change — Book III
by
GINA HOOTEN POPP
  Genre:  Texas Historical Fiction / Romance
Date of Publication: November 12, 2017
Number of Pages: 307

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The year is 1934. Economic turbulence rocks the country. And record drought dries up crops, along with the spirits of every farmer south of the Mason-Dixon. Yet for sixteen-year-old Mick McLaren, life is good as he takes to the open road to chase his dream of being a musician. Riding boxcars, hitchhiking, walking and driving his way across Depression Era Texas, he finds not only himself, but the love of a girl from Dallas named Margaret. Along the way, they befriend Cowboy Larson, a Delta Blues guitarist. Together the three teens, from three very different worlds, come-of-age as their life-changing journey carries them through killer dust storms, extreme poverty, and the unprecedented gangster activity of the Dirty Thirties. 
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AUTHOR GINA HOOTEN POPP’S PLAYLIST
TO UP NEAR DALLAS

Since Up Near Dallas is about the revolutionary 1930s music scene happening in Dallas and across the state of Texas, of course I had music playing in the background when I wrote it. The following are just a few of the many songs that influenced me.The mournful, longing lyrics of tenor Chris Isaak came to mind when I was writing Mick McLaren’s character. I imagined that Mick’s ballad about the girl he loved would sound very much like some of the song’s off Isaak’s album, Heart Shaped World. In particular, the song “Wicked Game” and the lyrics: The world was on fire, and no one could save me but you.”

Another song was Eric Clapton’s cover of Robert Johnson’s song, “Crossroads.” This song appealed to me since I read that the blues guitarist Robert Johnson had a big  influence on Clapton along with many other modern musicians. Then, of course, more than a few songs from Johnson himself, including “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” “Ramblin’ On My Mind,” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”

…followed by Sister Rosetta rock-influenced “Shout Sister Shout,” “Down By The Riverside,” and “This Train” just to name a few.

I also listened to songs that depicted the time period, including Woody Guthrie’s “Dust Bowl Refugee,” “Hard Travelin’,” “I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore,” and “This Land Is Your Land.” Guthrie’s lyrics gave me a glimpse of the tone of America during the thirties.

And, two more songs stand out in my mind because I actually wove them into the storyline. The Carter Family’s version of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and the legendary jazz standard “I Only Have Eyes For You” that was so popular in 1934.

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A native Texan, Gina Hooten Popp was born in Greenville and now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. Along with writing novels, Gina has enjoyed a long career as a professional writer in advertising. Her debut novel THE STORM AFTER was a finalist in the 2014 RONE Awards, and her just-released book CHICO BOY: A NOVEL was a 2016 Medalist Winner in the New Apple Annual Book Awards. Recently, her novel LUCKY’S WAY, about a young fighter pilot from Houston, was endorsed by the United States World War One Centennial Commission.

 


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December 5-December 13, 2017
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

 

12/4/17
Guest Post
12/5/17
Review
12/6/17
Excerpt
12/7/17
Playlist
12/8/17
Review
12/9/17
Notable Quotable
12/10/17
Excerpt
12/11/17
Review
12/12/17
Author Interview
12/13/17
Review
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