Elizabeth A Garcia
Author: Elizabeth A. Garcia
Publisher: Mountain Press
Release Date: October 15, 2015
#of pages: 378
It's March in Terlingua and the weather is playing games—icy one day and warmish a few days later. But the weather is not the problem.
The trouble begins with a Photoshopped picture of Deputy Ricos and Sheriff Ben that makes an innocent encounter look like something it's not. Someone is making a problem where none exists. Why?
Mix in the brutal murder of quiet man "everyone likes," a young, green-eyed deputy trainee, a wealthy, mysterious newcomer to Alpine, a prostitute from Mexico, and a local ranch where it appears something "wrong" is happening. Then stir in a cast of characters you will swear you know, hillsides purplish with bluebonnets, and the never- changing/always changing mountains of South Brewster County.
Award-winning author Elizabeth A. Garcia has lived for more than thirty years in the Big Bend country of far west Texas. She has hiked, rafted, explored, and earned a living in this wild desert-mountain land near the Rio Grande, on the border of the United States and Mexico.
It was experiencing the deep canyons, creosote-covered bajadas, and stark, jagged mountains, and the wide-open spaces and dark, starry nights that eventually brought her to writing.
She tells her fans, "I have loved to write since I was a child. As I grew up I never made much time for it. I was busy raising a family and running a company. Once I started writing I realized how many stories have been stockpiled in my brain. I'm getting them out as fast as I can."
Her first novel, "One Bloody Shirt at a Time," won "Best Crime Novel of the Year" from the Texas Association of Authors for 2013. It was her first novel, but not her first written story. For several years Ms. Garcia’s short stories were published by the Big Bend Gazette.
In addition to novels and other stories, Ms. Garcia writes a blog on this site. In the past she has shared her blog with the Alpine Avalanche and later with the Daily Planet. She loves to describe and write about west Texas and continues to live there.
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Samantha Kielty only thought she knew who she was and what she was made of. Until she was offered a position that would take her from her small office in San Antonio, Texas to that of her company’s larger, more upscale headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Sam hadn't seen anything. Her new boss is not only intensely sexy, he is also about to show her things she's only read in books.
Logan McCoy’s life was steady going until he set his sights on his new Vice President of Project Operations. The woman makes his blood boil and makes him want things he didn't realize he was in search of. Logan only hopes Samantha is capable of handling his dominating, controlling ways… especially between the sheets... or in the shower.
When Logan and Sam get together, sparks fly and they bring out each other’s deepest, darkest desires. He will push Sam past her sexual boundaries, and she will bring out his need to possess her in every way. But, can they find love within the inferno that burns between them?
Warning: This ebook contains sinfully hot encounters between two (and sometimes three, and even four) consenting adults. Includes m/f/m, m/f/m/m, and m/m interactions. Contains graphic material that is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.
Publisher's note: Conviction was originally published on July 29, 2012 and has not been changed, although the cover has been.
Published July 30th 2012
Current GoodReads Rating: 4.15 Stars
It might have something to do with being a monogamous heterosexual or possibly I'm just too vanilla in my sex life, but this book was more entertainment than erotica for me. The first woman orgasm was done without a touch from anyone, but was solely because she was so turned on by giving a man a blow job…I don't know about anyone else, but I have gotten nowhere near that point without a lot of touching going on, so it became the first humorous point for me. Those types of orgasms happened throughout as well as within an hour both male and female had up to a dozen orgasms one right after another and if that truly happens in the real world, I think there would be a lot less depression in this world. I kept listening to this audiobook not for the erotica, sexy nature of it but because I was wondering what they'd come up with next. One, two, three guys brought in and then the one possessive, controlling guy that somehow could manage to share his (and only his) girl with the other two guys. Things didn't add up. He was constantly telling her what to do and when to do it and repeatedly would tell her she was not allowed to come till he allowed it, and I remember only one time where he actually allowed it. He yelled at her a few times for coming too soon, but the other fifty times she orgasmed, she got away without getting yelled at somehow even though he yelled at her for several other things. He needed to demand obedience to everything and follow through making sure she listened or none of it.
Another thing that didn't settle with me was that the cover. It showcases a beautiful woman and a well-dressed man, but it brings out a defensive, feminist nature in me. Are women only sexy when in lingerie; is that really all we are good for? He loved how much drive she had and how far she was in the corporate ladder, so why couldn't she be in a suit as well? I also imagined this six foot, huge man being a lot larger than the guy that seems to be only a few inches taller than her on the cover. While I'm on the topic of the cover...the title as well didn't fit for me. Conviction, being law terminology, I assumed the hot man pictured on the cover would be a lawyer and/or the story would somehow bring the law into the story. It was given only as a safe word, which was never used (boring), and then did not involve enough back story to understand the underlying meaning of the word and why she chose it. This seemed to be a short novella that was turned into a novel. I wish as it was a longer book would have involved some twists and turn and not such a cookie cutter straight and narrow path with such an easy obstacle and perfect ending. It was too similar to too many other stories to stand out, except in reference to the crazy, unimaginable sex that was happening in every chapter. This is definitely an explicit, X-rated story and although I was relieved it did have some backstory involved in between the crazy sexcapades, it wasn’t enough for me to become compassionate towards the characters. I needed a better and deeper character development and well as not being creeped out that an identical twin brother is regularly having sex with the other twins now wife and he enjoys watching it because they look alike...there is a way to scream that you are way too full of yourself that you enjoy watching "yourself" have sex with someone.
One more thing that I was concerned about was how many times she walked away because she was uncomfortable with the sex not being vanilla, being between only the two of them. She left multiple times for weeks sometimes not talking to him before she was not comfortable with what was going on, so it seemed that he was pressuring her into something she did not want to do and judging her for being so normal and boring, looking down on her in a sense for not already exploring being thrown around by three different men at once. She seemed too hesitant throughout the entire book and to me was being forced into sex acts because that’s how she twistedly showed her trust to a man she was falling in love with. Whole story was off to me.
SEX AS A POLITICAL CONDITION
Carlos Nicolas Flores
TITLE: Sex as a Political Condition
AUTHOR: Carlos Nicolás Flores
GENRE: Literary Fiction: Political Satire
# of pages: 408
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Sex as a Political Condition: A Border Novel is a raucous, hilarious journey through political dangers that come in all shapes, cup sizes, and sexual identities, a trip into the wild, sometimes outrageous world of the Texas-Mexico border and all geographical and anatomical points south.
Honoré del Castillo runs the family curio shop in the backwater border town of Escandón, Texas, and fears dying in front of his TV like some six-pack José in his barrio. Encouraged by his friend Trotsky, he becomes politically active—smuggling refugees, airlifting guns to Mexican revolutionaries, negotiating with radical Chicana lesbians—but the naked truths he faces are more often naked than true and constantly threaten to unman him. When a convoy loaded with humanitarian aid bound for Nicaragua pulls into Escandón, his journey to becoming a true revolutionary hero begins, first on Escandón’s international bridge and then on the highways of Mexico. But not until both the convoy and Honoré’s mortality and manhood are threatened in Guatemala does he finally confront the complications of his love for his wife and daughter, his political principles, the stench of human fear, and ultimately what it means to be a principled man in a screwed-up world.
A native of El Paso, Carlos Nicolas Flores is a winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize and author of a young adult novel, Our House on Hueco (TTUP, 2006). As a director of the Teatro Chicano de Laredo and a former director of the South Texas Writing Project, he has long been engaged in the promotion of new writers and writing about the Mexican American experience. He teaches English at Laredo Community College in Laredo, Texas.
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FINDING THE GREAT WESTERN TRAIL
Sylvia Gann Mahoney
The Great Western Trail (GWT) is a nineteenth-century cattle trail that originated in northern Mexico, ran west parallel to the Chisholm Trail, traversed the United States for some two thousand miles, and terminated after crossing the Canadian border. Yet through time, misinformation, and the perpetuation of error, the historic path of this once-crucial cattle trail has been lost. Finding the Great Western Trail documents the first multi-community effort made to recover evidence and verify the route of the Great Western Trail.
The GWT had long been celebrated in two neighboring communities: Vernon, Texas, and Altus, Oklahoma. Separated by the Red River, a natural border that cattle trail drovers forded with their herds, both Vernon and Altus maintained a living trail history with exhibits at local museums, annual trail-related events, ongoing narratives from local descendants of drovers, and historical monuments and structures. So when Western Trail Historical Society members in Altus challenged the Vernon Rotary Club to mark the trail across Texas every six miles, the effort soon spread along the trail in part through Rotary networks from Mexico, across nine US states, and into Saskatchewan, Canada.
This book is the story of finding and marking the trail, and it stands as a record of each community’s efforts to uncover their own GWT history. What began as local bravado transformed into a grass-roots project that, one hopes, will bring the previously obscured history of the Great Western Trail to light.
Sylvia Gann Mahoney was an educator for thirty-three years at community colleges in Texas and New Mexico as an administrator, teacher, and rodeo team coach. She became involved with the Great Western Trail project through her involvement in the Rotary Club of Vernon. She now lives in Fort Worth
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Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?
That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.
When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.
Published October 1st 2015
Current GoodReads Rating: 4.16 Stars
I really enjoyed this fast-paced, action-packed story! Special Agent Bethany Sanchez has a tough first day ahead of her. Not only is she joining the violent crime unit of the FBI and meeting her new partner, who once arrested her brother, but she also butts heads with him over their different styles of investigation. He operates more on hunches and his gut while Bethany is all about protocol and rules. They have two murders to solve and Special Agent Thatcher Graves believes they're looking at a serial killer while Bethany thinks it's a copycat. While they follow the leads in the investigation, Bethany is being harassed by texts from her criminal brother.
Thatcher and Bethany actually have a lot in common. Bethany has a complicated relationship with her family, with a brother who suffers from a traumatic brain injury and a father who refused to put him on medication as a child. She's watched for years as he makes bad choices and commits crimes while her parents and sister make excuses for him and give him whatever he wants. When she's tried to intervene and won't help him by giving him money, they turn on her and she's practically estranged from them. Thatcher also had a strained relationship with his father, who's now deceased. They're both Christians, with Thatcher only a few weeks old and trying to turn over a new leaf. He was a bit of a ladies' man. Bethany has been a Christian longer, but she's struggling with why God doesn't stop all of the evil in the world. They're also both attracted to each other, but know getting involved would not be a good idea.
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TEXAS IS CHILI COUNTY
Texans love to eat, and one dish they can’t get enough of is chili—so much so that chili con carne is Texas’s state meal. This seemingly simple staple of Texan identity proves to be anything but, however. Beans or no beans? Beef, pork, or turkey? From a can or from scratch?
Texas Is Chili Country is a brief look at the favored fare—its colorful history, its many incarnations, and the ways it has spread both across the country and the world. The history includes chuckwagon chili, the chili queens of San Antonio, the first attempts at canned chili, the development of chili societies and the subsequent rivalries between them, and the rise of chili cook-offs.
Judy Alter retired from Texas Christian University Press after thirty years, twenty of them as director. At the same time she developed her own writing career, focusing primarily on women of the American West. Now she writes fiction and nonfiction for all ages. She lives in Fort Worth.
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I Hate Pinatas was the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards' Gold Medalist - Best Adult Non-Fiction E-Book. Heart surgery doesn't happen in a vacuum. This is what Heather Maloy learned first-hand when her son, Colman, was diagnosed in utero with a combination of congenital heart defects which are fatal without surgical intervention. I Hate Pinatas is a compelling story of hope and strength that vacillates between heartbreaking and outrageously funny as Maloy takes you through what three heart surgeries in three years looked like for one family.
Author's Note: I Hate Pinatas is not an inspirational book, but rather a true and honest account of what we went through as a family. In my quest to keep it real, there are curse words contained within the story. However, it's my hope that this book will leave you feeling inspired."
Published February 3rd 2015
Current GoodReads Rating: 4.62 Stars
I adored this authors honesty and spunk while describing such a hard time in her life. I originally did not read the excerpt discussing what the book was about, and thought it would include a lifelong list of hardships, but instead it included one hardship that equated to enough for one lifetime to handle. I am a young adult and don't envision myself having kids anytime soon, but it was not hard to have empathy and feel like I related to this author as she poured out her feelings and thoughts undergoing difficult decisions. She wrote this beautifully and with her heart which is why I feel in love with this story. She was raw with her fears of not loving her child at first sight like everyone imagines, saying it took her longer than she thought. She included enough medical information so that I could understand a little of what was going on but not be overwhelmed and get lost in the titles of things. his book gave me a preview of the emotions and obstacles someone goes through when dealt something like this and it opened my eyes how to react if I ever know someone going through something like this. I would give this five out of five stars and appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book. Thank you.
A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities
Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools—or even wash his hands. This was the world of medicine when Thomas Dent Mütter began his trailblazing career as a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia during the middle of the nineteenth century.
Although he died at just forty-eight, Mütter was an audacious medical innovator who pioneered the use of ether as anesthesia, the sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassion-based vision for helping the severely deformed, which clashed spectacularly with the sentiments of his time.
Brilliant, outspoken, and brazenly handsome, Mütter was flamboyant in every aspect of his life. He wore pink silk suits to perform surgery, added an umlaut to his last name just because he could, and amassed an immense collection of medical oddities that would later form the basis of Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum.
Award-winning writer Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz vividly chronicles how Mütter’s efforts helped establish Philadelphia as a global mecca for medical innovation—despite intense resistance from his numerous rivals. (Foremost among them: Charles D. Meigs, an influential obstetrician who loathed Mütter’s "overly" modern medical opinions.) In the narrative spirit of The Devil in the White City, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels interweaves an eye-opening portrait of nineteenth-century medicine with the riveting biography of a man once described as the "P. T. Barnum of the surgery room."
Published September 4th 2014
Current Goodreads Rating: 3.85 Stars
The author introduced a subject (medicine and anatomy) that I usually avoid and turned it into an entertaining, educational story. It was refreshing to step out of my comfort zone and see a different perspective and appreciation on life and where the world is now. It brought you back to a time that I thank the Lord I didn't live in and remind the reader how new doctors and medical practices really are. The author did a great job in how he told Mr. Mutter's story so that it can reach a broader audience. I love the cover and just that alone got me interested. It was a fun read because it got you to ponder on what all kind of experiments lead us to our modern day treatments and medicine. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun way to learn a little history.
1. Did you always want to be a writer? No. I started writing about 13 years ago to stave off stay-at-home-mom boredom.
2. What were some of your favorite childhood stories/books? The first book that made an impact on me was Where the Red Fern Grows. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Lemon, read it aloud to the class and by the end, we were all sobbing.
3. Did you have a childhood hero? No, but I had two imaginary friends, Tippy & Gaga, who always let me win when we raced bicycles.
4. What has been your favorite part about being an author? It’s a toss up between not having to go into an office every day and the happiness I feel when someone says they enjoyed my work.
5. If you had not become an author, what else would you have liked to do for a living? Or what did you do before becoming a writer? I was in restaurant management & HR before I became a SAHM. Looking back now, I wish I’d become a kick ass FBI agent like Dana Scully.
6. What advice would you give to your 12 year old self? Don’t get a degree in Restaurant Management.
7. If you could time travel, where would you go first? I’d go to 1865 and stop John Wilkes Booth.
8. What was the last book that was recommended to you? Redshirts by John Scalzi. Loved it.
9. What is your writing process like? Do you have any interesting writing rituals? If procrastination is a writing ritual then YES!
10. What do you consider the most important part of the writing process? What do you consider the most difficult? The toughest part is the first draft. The most important part is editing.
11. Who or what would you say had the greatest influence on your writing? My cousin, Kenneth Mark Hoover, who mentored me through all the stages of my writing career. I wouldn’t be here without his unflagging belief in my talent.
12. What do you find most fascinating or addicting about mysteries? What’s most fascinating about mysteries is the readers. They are enthusiastic, loyal, engaging and exacting. I love them.
13. What would you tell a non-Texan reader about Texas to better help them understand the setting of your story STILLWATER? Someone asked me a similar question this weekend at Bouchercon, and I didn’t have a very good answer. Honestly, I don’t think small town East Texas is all that different from anywhere else. People and communities are the same the world over.
14. What’s next in the writing world of Melissa Lenhardt? It’s going to be a busy year! I have five books coming out between now and January 2017.
October 6, 2015 – STILLWATER: A Jack McBride Mystery
March 29, 2016 – SAWBONES (historical fiction series)
July 19, 2016 – SAWBONES #2
November 8, 2016 – THE FISHER KING (Jack McBride #2)
January 2017 – SAWBONES #3
Former FBI agent Jack McBride took the job as Chief of Police for Stillwater, Texas, to start a new life with his teenage son, Ethan, away from the suspicions that surrounded his wife’s disappearance a year earlier.
With a low crime rate and a five-man police force, he expected it to be a nice, easy gig; hot checks, traffic violations, some drugs, occasional domestic disturbances, and petty theft. Instead, within a week he is investigating a staged murder-suicide, uncovering a decades’ old skeleton buried in the woods, and managing the first crime wave in thirty years.
For help navigating his unfamiliar, small-town surroundings, Jack turns to Ellie Martin, one of the most respected women in town—her scandal-filled past notwithstanding. Despite Jack's murky marriage status and the disapproval of Ethan and the town, they are immediately drawn to each other.
As Jack and Ellie struggle with their budding relationship, they unearth shattering secrets long buried and discover the two cases Jack is working, though fifty years apart, share a surprising connection that will rattle the town to its core.
Waking to sirens in the night is hardly unusual for Samantha Owens. No longer a medical examiner, she doesn't lose sleep over them, but a routine police investigation in her neighborhood has her curious. When her homicide detective friend, Darren Fletcher, invites her to look over the evidence, she jumps at the chance and immediately realizes the crime scene has been staged. What seems to be a clear case of murder/suicide—a crime of passion—is anything but. The discovery of toxic substances in hidden vials indicates that something much more sinister is at play…
As Fletch and Sam try to understand what and who they are dealing with, they are summoned to a meeting at the State Department. High-level officials are interested in what they know and seem to be keeping secrets of their own. It's up to Sam and Fletch to uncover what lies behind the deception as the threat of bioterrorism is exposed, and her boyfriend, Xander Whitfield, may be in the line of fire.
Unsure who to trust, Sam and Fletch find themselves up against very powerful people at every stage in the investigation. No one is who they appear to be and with every minute that passes, the danger escalates. It's Sam's most complex case yet and the terrifying reality is beyond anything she could have imagined.
Published May 26th 2015
Current GoodReads Rating: 4.19 Stars
I listened to this as an audio book at speed 1.5 and learned the cons to listening at the faster speed. When I'm doing mind-numbing, busy work I usually listen to audio books to help the time pass and it actually helps me stay awake and focus on my work better (especially when the plot accelerates because so does my typing speed). I usually listen to romance which doesn’t have as many intricate details compared to the complex murder and suspense books that I love. This story had a new murder every few chapters and it seemed like I missed so much as sometimes I zone out on my work and was not listening fully to the story developments (I guess I did end up needing my brain on for this work assignment).
I don't feel comfortable reviewing too in depth on this story because of that. I will say when I was listening there were times I would zone out on the book as well because it caught my attention and I would pause to hear the commotion happening in the plot. The second half I listened to on my commutes from Dallas to Houston and back at a normal speed which is how I know I missed so much detail during the first half of the story. I will say I enjoyed the story as a whole and might go back and relisten to the first half.
The story held so many angles and held a suspense that I enjoy so much. It was not a one-dimensional, one man down and one suspect kind of story. It involved multiple suspects and possible guilty parties along with a string of deaths. I think the author balanced it perfectly by not taking the simple road and also by not having an overwhelming amount of characters to where it distracted you from the plot. I will definitely be reading more of this author’s books to see what creative ploys they dream up next. The story closed with a conclusion and answers on the main points, but left a background story open to hold your interest as a to be continued, perfect ending. I gave this 4.5 stars and look forward to reading more.
I started a blog so I can look back and see my life through the eyes of the books I read. A book a day keeps reality away!