We’re hosting 2 book signings in March with mystery novels and a true crime history, all with a strong Texas theme. Bartee Haile with Texas Depression-Era Desperadoes on Saturday the 15th, and Miles Arceneaux with La Salle’s Ghost and Thin Slice of Life on Saturday the 22nd.

Saturday, March 15th, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Texas Depression-Era Desperadoes

by Bartee Haile
by Bartee Haile

by Bartee Haile

Author Bartee Haile will be discussing and signing copies of his new True Crime history covering the lives and misdeeds of well known and lesser known Texas criminals in the time of Bonnie and Clyde.

The lives of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow started in Texas, but their stories have become legend across the country. They, along with a band of other ne’er-do-wells from other Texas towns, grew to national infamy during the Great Depression. West Dallas’s Ralph Fults smuggled hacksaw blades into jail to break out Raymond Hamilton. In Galveston, the Downtown Gang, Beach Gang, Maceo brothers and others hustled and smuggled liquor for their speakeasy casinos. In 1940, bank robber and Texas Public Enemy Number One Red Goleman led authorities on a wild chase through Texas’s Big Thicket. But behind the headlines lived real people and a Texas legacy. Author Bartee Haile weaves the stories of the well-known Barrow Gang, along with other notorious criminals of the day, together with their Texas roots.

Bartee Haile started This Week in Texas History in 1983 as a weekly column for small-town and suburban newspapers. Thirty years and more than 1,500 columns later, it is the oldest and most widely read feature of its kind. He started writing the column with the idea of covering everything under the Lone Star sun. If it happened in Texas or to a Texan anywhere in the world, it’s Texas history.

Saturday, March 22nd, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Join us Saturday with authors John T. Davis and James R. Dennis, two of the three man writing team who publish under the pen-name Miles Arceneaux. The three are a group of Texas-based writer friends who penned, as a literary lark, the collectively-written novel Thin Slice of Life, a book that has given birth to a series of witty Gulf Coast thrillers based on its central characters.

Readers who fancy gritty and colorful mystery yarns steeped in gulf salt air and down-home waterfront locales will not want to miss out on Charlie Sweetwater and his adventures.

Thin Slice of Life

by Miles Arceneaux
by Miles Arceneaux

Charlie Sweetwater returns to his hometown to visit his brother but arrives to find he is a no-show: The Coast Guard has discovered Johnny’s shrimp boat drifting abandoned in the Gulf. Is it “death by misadventure” as the authorities presume, or something more sinister?

Meanwhile, Fulton Harbor, where Charlie’s family have docked their shrimp boats for generations, has changed—and not for the better. Hard-working Vietnamese fishermen are under the thumb of Col. Nguyen Ngoc Bao, a ruthless exiled gangster who aims to recreate his criminal enterprise in a New World setting.

Confronting Bao and his thugs are Charlie and a mismatched group of good guys (and gals): a fast-and-loose Cajun hustler, a salty cast of “Third Coast” barroom regulars, a handful of courageous Vietnamese émigrés, a menacing ex-convict, and a misplaced Texas Ranger who discovers a slice of the Lone Star State that the cowboy movies of his boyhood never prepared him for.

Along the way Charlie finds himself falling for his brother’s girlfriend, whose zealous desire to see justice served tests his own limits for loyalty and commitment. Unlikely heroes arise from improbable circumstances, and the denizens of the small seaside community find their fortunes and fates ebbing and flowing like the tidal flux of the ocean itself.

La Salle’s Ghost

by Miles Arceneaux
by Miles Arceneaux
Drifting silently on the water about forty nautical miles off the Texas coast, Charlie Sweetwater sits aboard his boat, alone with his thoughts, when from the darkness he hears a man swimming toward him. But not just any man. His name is Julien Dufay, the wealthy French scion of a family-owned petrochemical dynasty headquartered in Houston. Charlie plucks the exhausted Frenchman from the Gulf of Mexico and delivers him back to his rarified world. But of course, no good deed ever goes unpunished.

As Charlie is drawn deeper into Julien’s erratic orbit, he discovers a man possessed. Dufay is consumed by his vision of discovering the site of Fort Saint Louis: the famed—and doomed—17th century settlement of French explorer, Robert Cavelier de La Salle.

Thanks to Julien, and his own restless curiosity, Charlie is pulled into a web of obsession, murder and greed. Julien wants to find La Salle’s long-lost colony (and the treasure of artifacts buried with it) as a legacy for himself, his family and the greater glory of France. But the project’s ambitious sponsor, Jean-Marc Dufay, is hell-bent on getting at the rich natural gas resources hidden beneath the site, even if it means using his own brother as a pawn to feed his ambitions. Standing in the way is the stubborn old man on whose South Texas ranch Julien and Jean-Marc are converging, along with his trio of scurrilous sons, who have their own covert agenda—an agenda that can be lethal to outsiders.

Charlie struggles to make sense of it all, with the help of the beautiful marine archeologist who is excavating La Salle’s shipwreck La Belle in nearby Matagorda Bay. But as he digs deeper into Julien Dufay’s danger-fraught quest, he discovers that history has a way of repeating itself, and that some ghosts just won’t stay buried.