Wonder Boi Writes

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Earlier this month we headed down to the Lone Star State to visit some friends.  We got to spend a couple of days in Houston taking in the sights and lounging by the pool.  Jackson had a blast playing with his friends Etta and Desmond while we got to hang out with their mom and dad. Plus we got to cross Minute Maid Park off our list of baseball stadiums to visit.


We also thought it would be a great idea to rent a minivan so we could all road trip to Dallas for my reading there. Two hours into that ride when all three children were crying and Jackson had thrown up, we began to rethink that plan, but it was too late, as we were already halfway to the big D.

Thanks to my friend Todd’s excellent driving, we made it to our hotel just in time for me to change clothes and hop into Melissa Brayden’s little yellow Volkswagen bug.  Melissa had just driven in that morning from San Antonio, and we put her GPS tracker and stereo speakers to the test as we managed to rock our way into the city for a lunch date with our wonderful host Carsen Taite.

We spent the next hour and a half stuffing our faces with all kinds of wonderful Tex-Mex food. I was already thinking about undoing the top button on my jeans when the waiter asked if we would like some flan.  Well the answer to the question is always “yes, yes we would.”

They had to practically roll me down to the Barnes and Noble where we were having the reading.


Now don’t get me wrong, I love any story that allows me to sell my books, but I was a little leery when Carsen selected this venue.  Normally the big box store just throws up a table somewhere in the back of the store, and hopes you don’t make too much noise, but this put us right out there for the world to see.  They made posters and set up several rows of chairs.  They even gave us a microphone, despite the fact that we were already within earshot of the children’s section. Knowing we were not to be trusted with such a responsibility, we immediately gave the mic to our lawyer.


Carsen did a great job of introducing all of us and thanking our hosts before she tapped Melissa Brayden to go first.

Melissa has had some theater training, and by some, I mean a lot. She always uses her voice to convey her characters’ emotions and makes all the other authors look bad.  This time was no different. She read a fun scene from her Golden Crown Literary Award-winning debut novel Waiting in the Wings.  If you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?


Next up was the lovely and multi-talented Shelley Thrasher.  Those of you who follow this blog know that Shelley edited my novels, Trails Merge, The Long Way Home, and LoveLife.  What you may not know, though, is that Shelley is contracted to plug her first novel, The Storm, with Bold Strokes Books, this fall.  Shelley read two short scenes from The Storm, and let me tell you, I have never been more excited about a debut novel in, well, ever.  No pressure there, Shelley.


I was the next to take to the podium.  I couldn’t resist having a little fun at my first Texas reading, so I started off by trying something I’ve always wanted to do.  I leaned into the mic and sang, “The stars at night are big and bright…” I’ll be darned if the whole place didn’t clap, clap, clap, clap, and sing “Deep in the heart of Texas.”  Well that pretty much made my trip, but I went ahead and read an early scene from LoveLife anyway.


Finally, we let your Dallas girl close out the show for us. Carsen got up and read from her recent release Slingshot, which follows the adventures of Luca Bennett, bounty hunter. I love this character.  I got to help workshop the first scene at a retreat last summer, and then Carsen outlined some plot points on the back of my clothing literary, so naturally I take a lot of credit for this one, but the reading was all Carsen, and she closed us out on a fun and sexy note.


After the readings, we all passed the mic and shot the breeze with each other and the audience.  We all talked about our inspirations, our upcoming releases, and our day jobs.  I always have such a good time chatting with my fellow authors and readers.

I want to thank Carsen, Shelley, and Melissa for joining me and the good folks at Barnes and Noble for hosting us.  I also want to say thank you to the readers who showed up, listened to us read, and bought our books.  You showed this New York boi some wonderful Texas-sized hospitality (especially Adrian, who let me steal her hat).



July 24, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Aww, my little sidekick, Desmond. 🙂

    Comment by Melissa Brayden | July 24, 2012 | Reply

  2. Great wrap-up, Rachel. Wonderful to have you visit the Lone Star State.

    Comment by Shelley Thrasher | July 24, 2012 | Reply

  3. Very enjoyable Rach especially for those who couldn’t be there and hear the four of you. It was a terrific day and so full of love and fun.

    Comment by Connie | July 24, 2012 | Reply

  4. […] Rachel Spangler posted Deep in the Heart of Texas. […]

    Pingback by Lesbrary Link Round Up: July 18-26 « The Lesbrary | July 26, 2012 | Reply

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