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#7 Rendezvous With A Writer

March 06, 2021

#7 Rendezvous With A Writer

Welcome to this week's Rendezvous With A Writer OutWest featured book round-up. Find these books, and many more like them, on our separate book website We've curated book lists representing the complicated, compelling, and engaging culture, history and diversity of the American West. This week's featured book selections were posted on our OutWest Shop Facebook daily post March 7 - March 13, 2021. Discover titles about John Lewis, Women's History Month, Mysteries, 2021 WWA Spur Award Winners and More! Books are added to this blog as the week unfolds.
Spotlight on Books

MARCH 12 ... WHAT TO READ NEXT? When you're unsure what to add to your "must read list" a good source is award winning lists of titles. Today, I'm featuring four winners of the recently announced WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICA 2021 SPUR AWARDS.

Western Writers of America Home Page
According to their website the WWA ( promotes and honors the best in Western literature with the annual Spur Awards, selected by panels of judges. Awards, for material published last year, are given for works whose inspiration, image and literary excellence best represent the reality and spirit of the American West.
Midnight's Whisperer Book Cover
MIDNIGHT'S WHISPERER - WINNER ROMANCE NOVEL - author Tom Lowe. Before he died, Ty McGill's grandfather left him with a skill few people have, an uncanny ability to calm and train problem horses. But after three tours of duty in the Middle East, Ty returns home to West Texas with his own deep problems. He's faced with challenges that lead him to Midnight, a horse with the reputation as a man killer. No one can break the fierce black stallion.Ty, like his grandfather, doesn't break horses. He can look a horse in the eye and see things most people never see....
A Thousand Texas Longhorns Book Cover
A THOUSAND TEXAS LONGHORNS - BEST ORIGINAL MASS-MARKET PAPERBACK - expanding his record-holding Spur total to nine author Johnny Boggs brings to life the harsh reality of cattle drives in a powerful, trailblazing adventure inspired by the harrowing true story of the1866 cattle drive from Texas to Montana--and the legendary man who dared the impossible...
Race and the Wild West Book Cover
RACE AND THE WILD WEST, VOLUME 17: SARAH BICKFORD, THE MONTANA VIGILANTES, AND THE TOURISM OF DECLINE, 1870-1930 - WINNER BEST FIRST NONFICTION BOOK - author Lara J. Arata - Born a slave in eastern Tennessee, Sarah Blair Bickford (1852-1931) made her way while still a teenager to Montana Territory, where she settled in the mining boomtown of Virginia City. Race and the Wild West is the first full-length biography of this remarkable woman, whose life story affords new insight into race and belonging in the American West around the turn of the twentieth century. This title was also a FINALIST for BEST BIOGRAPHY.
Winter Counts
WINTER COUNTS - BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL and BEST FIRST NOVEL - author David Heska Wanbli Weiden. A groundbreaking thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx. WINTER COUNTS is a tour-de-force of crime fiction, a bracingly honest look at a long-ignored part of American life, and a twisting, turning story that's as deeply rendered as it is thrilling.
---Post by Book Guide and Author Interviewer BOBBI JEAN

                                   WWA Logo

Author Steve Berry
Join hosts Jim Christina and Bobbi Jean with their returning guest, STEVE BERRY. We guarantee you, we'll have a great time! We'll be chatting about his newest book, number 16 in the Cotton Malone Series, THE KAISER'S WEB. 

I've just turned the last page...what a story! So many twists and turns, compelling characters, unexpected encounters, and surprises around every corner...nothing is as it seems! We had a really interesting conversation with author Steve Berry - about this newest title and also about his writing process, how he conducts his research, and how he feeds his imagination. Bobbi Jean
Steve Berry The Kaiser's Web Book Cover
Two candidates are vying to become Chancellor of Germany. One is a patriot having served for the past sixteen years, the other a usurper, stoking the flames of nationalistic hate. Both harbor secrets, but only one knows the truth about the other. They are on a collision course, all turning on the events of one fateful day ― April 30, 1945 ― and what happened deep beneath Berlin in the Fürherbunker. 

From the mysterious Chilean lake district, to the dangerous mesas of South Africa, and finally into the secret vaults of Switzerland, former-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone discovers the truth about the fates of Hitler, Braun, and Bormann. Revelations that could not only transform Europe, but finally expose a mystery known as the Kaiser’s web.
The Writer's Block Radio Show airs on LA Talk Radio. Airs live every Thursday on LA Talk Radio: 6pm (PST), 7pm (MT), 8pm (CST), 9pm (EST).
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MARCH 11...BOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING...true or false?
LOL! I co-host a weekly radio show, The Writer's Block, with host Jim Christina. For the last 6 years we've enjoyed the privilege of interviewing an author every week - and we read their latest title to prepare. I remember when I didn't think I could read a book a week! Enter my new addiction...LIBRARY LOVER'S MYSTERY SERIES by JENN MCKINLAY! How have I found the time to read another book a week...Audible! I didn't think I'd be a fan of listening to the reading of a book, but I'm hooked. Only allowing myself to listen while walking, driving, grocery shopping, and "getting ready" for the day I've found ample time to enjoy these books.
Library Mystery Series by Jenn McKinlay
Why do I like this Mystery Series with clever book related titles? My sister, Wendy, recommended them to me - a retired children's librarian who received her undergrad degree from Southern Connecticut State College and her Masters at Rutgers - she felt right at home with these characters. It takes place in a small community library (love libraries), in a Connecticut town (have lived in several), with engaging characters (every staff member is a memorable character, as are the patrons), delicious food descriptions, and unexpected plot twists. So fun!

I'm reading them in order - though you don't need to. Here's the first four of eleven. Book 12 "Killer Research" launches November 2021.
From the author's website: Briar Creek Public Library director Lindsey Norris solves murders in her coastal Connecticut town with the help of her crafternoon friends. 
Books Can Be Deceiving Book Cover
BOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING - Lindsey Norris is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey's friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children's book, but Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way...
Due or Die Book Cover
DUE OR DIE - Carrie Rushton, the new president of the Friends of the Library, has been accused of murdering her husband. The evidence is stacking up against Carrie, but neither Lindsey nor the Briar Creek crafternoon club is buying it. When a nor'easter buries the small coastal town, the police are too busy digging out the locals to investigate the murder....
Book, Line and Sinker Book Cover
BOOK, LINE, AND SINKER - Answering tricky reference questions like this one provides plenty of excitement for library director Lindsey Norris. But when a shocking murder is committed in her cozy coastal town of Briar Creek, Connecticut, the question of who did it must be answered before an innocent man gets the book thrown at him...

Read It and Weep Book Cover
READ IT AND WEEP - Answering Shakespeare trivia comes with the job description for library director Lindsey Norris. But when the Briar Creek Community Theater mounts their newest production of the Bard, she has no intention of leaving the stacks for the stage. Unfortunately a villain is waiting in the wings... 
Author Jenn McKinlay
Jenn McKinlay is the author of several other series including Wait For It, Paris Is Always A Good Idea, Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, London Hat Shop Mysteries, Bluff Point Romance, Happily Ever After Romance, and others, as well as three stand alone titles. Get to know her here! 
---Post by Book Lover and Author Interviewer BOBBI JEAN

                                 I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

MARCH 9 ... NEW BOOKS! I’M SO EXCITED! I just opened my package from - books and a box of notecards. My order arrived swiftly and in perfect condition. I am more than pleased! I enjoy both print and ebooks. But I really love the tactile qualities of physical books; their shapes, the texture of the pages, even their smell. The covers of the books I received beckoned me with bright, optimistic colors that match their upbeat contents. Let me share them with you.
                                     Feel Better In 5         
Dr. Rangan Chatterjee was interviewed on Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family”. His FEEL BETTER IN 5 offers a variety of 5-minute activities easily added to a busy schedule. Select one each from Mind, Body, and Heart to practice daily, and see your life improve. I’d borrowed this as an ebook from the library and decided I wanted a personal copy. I’m so happy! The book is generously sized and loaded with photographs; its pages are color-coordinated to the book’s themes.
I knew Pat Mora's wonderful children’s books from my work at the library. We’ve included many of them on our Children’s Picture Book list. She wrote ZING! as a series of letters to teachers, encouraging them to develop their own creativity and that of their students by practicing it. Mora’s voice is uplifting and inspiring. Her exercises are fun. If we aren’t teachers, we can be her students.
                                 The Paper Solution

THE PAPER SOLUTION is Lisa Woodruff’s system of using a “Sunday basket” to corral a week’s worth of mail and “to do” items. Clear the basket once a week, and you’re ready for the next. No file cabinets either - just a handful of notebooks to hold necessary documents. The author is a real confidence booster. I think I can follow her lead.
                           Bear Notecards
When I have better control over my papers, I’ll have more time to send ANDREA WISNEWSKI GREETING CARDS to my friends. These paper-cut style prints of bear, rabbit, fox, sheep, chicken, and goat are charming. There are two blank cards of each animal - one to send, and one to keep! 
---Post by Book Guide WENDY

                           She Came By It Natural
#internationalwomensday2021 #internationalwomensday #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge
MARCH 8...INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY...Today we celebrate women's achievements, we raise awareness against bias, we take action for equality recognizing that from challenge comes change. "The most important thing one woman can do for another is expand her sense of actual possibilities." ---Adrienne Rich
            Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed History
BAD GIRLS THROUGHOUT HISTORY: 100 REMARKABLE WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD by Ann Shen. The 100 revolutionary women highlighted in this gorgeously illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they CHALLENGED the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed. From pirates to artists, warriors, daredevils, women in science, activists, and spies, the accomplishments of these incredible women who dared to push boundaries vary as much as the eras and places in which they effected change.
                             Dare To Make History: Chasing A Dream and Fighting for Equaltiy

DARE TO MAKE HISTORY: CHASING A DREAM AND FIGHTING FOR EQUITY by Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson. This is the story of two courageous and talented women who weren't willing to accept anything less than being treated as equals. On their journey to a gold medal in women's ice hockey, they became role models for generations before and after them. This is not a hockey book. It is not a girls book. It is a book about the importance of the fight for equity, particularly gender equity. It is the inspirational story of how two young women from a small town in North Dakota have dreamed big--had the courage to take on huge battles--and in the end how they have dared to make history.
                     Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers  
LATINITAS: CELEBRATING 40 BIG DREAMERS by Juliet Menéndez. Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today! In this collection of short biographies from all over Latin America and across the United States, Juliet Menéndez explores the first small steps that set the Latinitas off on their journeys. With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams. This is a book for aspiring artists, scientists, activists, and more. These women followed their dreams--and just might encourage you to follow yours!
           First Ladies of the United States

FIRST LADIES OF THE UNITED STATES by the National Portrait Gallery, Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Foreword by Kim Sajet. First ladies are some of the most scrutinized public figures in the country, praised or criticized on everything from their fashion to their level of political involvement. There's no better way to explore their visibility and lasting impact than with First Ladies of the United States, which places remarkable portraits alongside an insightful essay and lively entries that illuminate the history of the women who have shaped the White House.

"Every woman's success should be an inspiration to another. We're strongest when we cheer each other on." ---Serena Williams
---Post by Book Guide BOBBI JEAN

            Marching For Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary

MARCH 7 ... “GET IN GOOD TROUBLE,” John Lewis reminded us. Today we remember him and the others who marched for voter’s rights fifty-six years ago. Their confrontation with police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 has become known as Bloody Sunday, A pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.
                           Preaching To The Chickens  
PREACHING TO THE CHICKENS. As a child Lewis wanted to become a minister, so he practiced his praying and sermonizing on the feathered flock that was his responsibility. E. B. Lewis’s paintings add warmth and emotion to Jabari Asim’s picture book. John Lewis was known to say that those hens were better listeners - and more productive - than some members of Congress!
MARCH (TRILOGY SLIPCASE SET). Co-written with Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell, John Lewis’s three volume memoir, presented in graphic novel format, earned the National Book Award. “Essential reading. . . .MARCH is a moving and important achievement. . .the story of a true American superhero.”
- - USA Today
                             His Truth Is Marching On
HIS TRUTH IS MARCHING ON: JOHN LEWIS AND THE POWER OF HOPE. Written by historian Jon Meacham, “. . .this gripping work is deeply relevant to America’s current turmoil over racial injustice.”
- - Publishers Weekly
                                  Across The Bridge
ACROSS THAT BRIDGE: A VISION FOR CHANGE AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA. “Faith, patience, truth, love, peace, study, and reconciliation: these are the buckets into which [John] Lewis pours his message . . .At its best, the book provides a testament to the power of nonviolence in social movements. . .”
- - Publishers Weekly
----Post by Book Guide WENDY

"You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone — any person or any force — dampen, dim or diminish your light … Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won."
John Lewis on being human in "Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America"  

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             Check Back Here Tomorrow For More Book Reviews!         
 Rendezvous With A Writer Logo
Who are we to be your guides? We are two sisters who grew up in a family that valued reading and encouraged an interest in history and the arts. Wendy spent her career with books. She worked as a children's librarian and as the buyer and manager of the children's department of an independent bookstore. A college major in literature introduced her to the classics of the American West.

Bobbi Jean and her husband, Jim, own OutWest Shop. She was the manager and buyer for a museum store before they started their own business. Bobbi Jean co-hosts The Writer's Block on LA Talk Radio, where she interviews authors of all types. The three other radio shows she hosts involve Western music and horses. Find podcasts of all her shows at OutWest Live!

We love sharing our book knowledge. You are not limited to the titles you find on our lists, though. Use the search box to rustle up any books that you want, and put them in your OutWest Book Shop cart!

        Happy Reading! Remember, it's always a Great Day OutWest!

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