Top Five Texas Authors of 2014

One thing about us Texans, we have a lot of state pride. Luckily we got the talent to back it up. Here’s a list of favorite crime novels this year written by our fellow Lone Stars.

reavis wortham vengeance is mine1. Vengeance Is Mine by Reavis Wortham

Wortham’s Central Springs lawmen and their families deal with violent actions and their consequences when a mob hitman moves into their town. Works as an engaging shoot up as well as a meditation on retribution.


nine days2. Nine Days by Minerva Koenig

This highly entertaining debut introduces us to Julia Kalas, whose marriage to her murdered gun-dealing husband has lead her to a small Texas town under Witness Protection. When the new man she’s seeing becomes the main suspect in a murder, she cuts across the state, using her criminal contacts to clear him in this fresh, hard-boiled gem.

a song to die for3. A Song To Die For by Michael Blakely

The Seventies Austin music scene serves as a fun back drop for a guitar pickin’ country legend looking for a comeback (as well as a way to beat the IRS). When a Mafia princess turns up dead, a Texas Ranger goes looking for her murderer and crosses paths with Blakely’s musician protagonist. Blakely, a musician himself, gives us a great look at building a band.

tim bryant spirit trap4.Spirit Trap by Tim Bryant

Fifties Fort Worth PI Alvin “Dutch” Curridge investigates the pilfering of a dance hall and the disappearance of a musician accused of the murder of his family. An involving who-dunnit that gives us a great flavor of the Texas music scene back then.

ransom island5. Ransom Island by Miles Arceneux

A Gulf Coast honky-tonk gets caught between the and the Klan when they get Duke Ellington to play for New Year’s Eve. A fun trip to a lost era and place.


All of the books listed above are available on our shelves and via Look out for more top lists later in December!



WHAT ARE THE CHANCES: Making Momma Proud


Kenny Rogers and Michael Blakelys new novel What Are The Chances is reminiscent of the country and western movies of the seventies and eighties, flicks like W.W. & The Dixie Dance Kings, Urban Cowboy, or Songwriters. This ode to the outlaw country movement is full of bar brawls, hustles, and hard drinking. It takes you back to the Texas of 1975 as if it was kicker Heaven.

In What are the Chances, the main character, Ronnie Breed, is a country-influenced rock star in the Graham Parsons mold (or Rogers when he was with The First Edition). Swindled out of most of his money by his old manager, he decides to reinvent himself as a country singer. To promote the new band, he and his cousin, Dan, concoct a plan involving a TV show that will feature Ronnie playing both music and cards in the first televised Texas Hold Em’ tournament. The scheme also involves Ronnie’s pretty new manager, his spunky girlfriend, a shady oil man who cheated their uncle, a promoter who is a cross between John Hammond and Ernest Hemingway, and, of course, Momma.

Told from Ronnie’s point of view, the book has a rollicking charm. Wry humor is woven throughout and the authors do a good job of keeping the story together. As Texas musicians, Rogers and Blakely being offer fun insight into the business and this freewheeling period in history. There’s even a bar fight at the Gilley’s honky-tonk and Freddy Fender shows up to play “Wasted Days & Wasted Nights’.

What Are The Chances is a two-fisted, whiskey guzzling, drawl and twang novel that never loses its sense of fun. It’s good ol’ boys with hearts of gold teaching the city slickers a lesson or two. It encapsulates the spirit of seventies’ country. It would make Momma proud.


Meet the Gambler here at BookPeople this Saturday, September 21st at 1PM! Tickets are required to attend the Meet & Greet and are only available in-store and via Tickets include a copy of What are the Chances. Rogers will be available to meet fans and pose for photos. Visit for more info.