Old Buildings in North Texas

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OLD BUILDINGS
IN NORTH TEXAS
by
JEN WALDO
Sub-genre: Literary Fiction / Dramedy
Publisher: Arcadia Books
Date of Publication: April 1, 2018
Number of Pages: 213
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After rehab, Olivia, a 32-year-old cocaine addict, is required to move back in with her mother and pregnant sister. Having left a promising career in journalism in New York, she’s now working as a sales assistant for a family friend in her home town in North Texas.

Under pressure from her court-mandated counselor – an old high school friend – to take up a hobby, Olivia decides on “urbexing.” Soon she’s breaking into derelict homes, ex-prisons, and old drive-ins across North Texas, and it’s not long before she’s looting state property and making money off the possessions, fixtures, and fittings that have been left behind.

Old Buildings in North Texas is about a modern woman’s search for personal equilibrium and wild adventure — the attempt to find stability in existence without losing sight of what makes life worth living. Jen Waldo’s style modulates effortlessly from domestic nuance to taut adventure, tackling social and moral transgressions with incisive observation and vivid humor.

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Sins of the Younger Sons

SINS OF THE
YOUNGER SONS
by
JAN REID
Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Spy / Thriller
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press 
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Publication Date: February 28, 2018
Number of Pages: 296 pages

Sins of the Younger Sons has received the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters! Luke Burgoa is an ex-Marine on a solitary covert mission to infiltrate the Basque separatist organization ETA in Spain and help bring down its military commander, Peru Madariaga. Luke hails from a Basque ancestry that came with the Spanish empire to Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, and, seventy-five years ago, to a Texas ranch. Neighbors consider the Burgoas Mexican immigrants and exiles of that nation’s revolution, but the matriarch of the family speaks the ancient language Euskera and honors traditions of the old country. Luke’s orders are to sell guns to the ETA and lure Peru into a trap. Instead he falls in love with Peru’s estranged wife, Ysolina, who lives in Paris and pursues a doctorate about an Inquisition-driven witchcraft frenzy in her native land. From the day they cross the border into the Basque Pyrenees, their love affair on the run conveys the beauty, sensuality, exoticism, and violence of an ancient homeland cut in two by Spain and France. Their trajectory puts Luke, Ysolina, and Peru on a collision course with each other and the famed American architect Frank Gehry, whose construction of a Guggenheim art museum seeks to transform the Basque city of Bilbao, a decrepit industrial backwater haunted by the Spanish Civil War—and a hotbed of ETA extremism. Ranging from the Amazon rain forest to a deadly prison in Madrid, Sins of the Younger Sons is a love story exposed to dire risk at every turn.

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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
Texan Girl Reads
12/11/17
Review
12/12/17
Author Interview
12/13/17
Review
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