New bestsellers for the avid reader on your gift list

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The big day is a week away, but there’s still time to fill an e-reader with books for you or someone else. And your favorite bestselling authors have new titles for every reader’s genre of choice. Here are the latest releases. 

Action thrillers

Seek and Destroy: Eva Driscoll Thriller 2

Seek and Destroy by Alan McDermott cover

By Alan McDermott

She got away once. They can’t let it happen again.

Eva Driscoll is on the run. She has a new identity, and the best part of $2 million liberated from the CIA. Henry Langton is dead but his sinister allies are circling, and not even a presidential pardon can help Eva against an organization that operates above the White House.

With agents around the globe and no tactic off limits, Langton’s men are calling the shots. When they track down ex-CIA computer expert Farooq Naser and threaten Andrew Harvey and Tom Gray, Eva knows they will come for her next. She needs to run—and fast—but what chance does one woman have against the most powerful group in the United States, with just a few ex-spooks and a couple of mercenaries on her side?

But her pursuers should know that, even backed into a corner, Eva Driscoll is not the kind of prey to give up without a fight. But will it mean hurting those she cares for the most?

Kindle edition | Paperback

Wired Courage by Toby Neal cover

Wired Courage: Paradise Crime book 9

By Toby Neal

What would you do if your family was threatened?

Sophie just wants to settle down with her unusual family—but a powerful presence sweeps in to steal her joy. At her most vulnerable physically and emotionally, Sophie must rise up to hunt down those who would take what’s most precious to her. The boundaries of love and friendship are tested as the men in her life grapple with their roles, each trying to help—but in the end, it’s Sophie who must face the darkness from her past and vanquish it.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | Google Play

Lovely Night to Die: The Quiet Assassin

By Caleb Pirtle III

A Lovely Night to Die by Caleb Pirtle III cover

Why should she fall in love with a man she defended in court/ Does she know he’s a CIA assassin? Does she know he has orders to kill the President? Does she know she will die if he fails? What else doesn’t she know?

He has angered his chief, the one-eyed Bohemian, by refusing to kill an accountant who accidentally saw the details of a top-secret mission. Sand sees no reason why an innocent man should die. Roland Sand is a CIA assassin ordered to kill the President of the United States. If he doesn’t, his rogue chief will kill the woman he loves. He has seconds to make up his mind.

Exclusive to Kindle edition

Romantic suspense

Finding You

By D.G. Torrens

Finding You by D.G. Torrens cover

Eden Marshall catches the eye of the wealthy and mysterious bachelor, Noah Ainsworth. Noah has been hiding away in his ivory tower for far too long. He decides it’s time to start living again. Eden Marshall is his motivation—captivated by her, he begins to trust in love again. Until a dark secret from his past threatens all that he loves.

Kindle | Paperback

Mystery and suspense

Torn Roots: A Hawaiian Storm

By Scott Bury

Torn Roots by Scott Bury cover

FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm’s first assignment in Hawai‘i takes her to Maui’s rain-soaked shore to find a kidnapped woman. Arson, foreign developers, a strident environmentalist, a taciturn geologist, a rogue Homeland Security agent and a too-chill local police lieutenant, turn a search for a missing woman into a labyrinth through Maui’s jungles that threatens to explode into an international incident.

Kindle edition | Paperback

Palm Trees & Snowflakes: Hawaiian Storm 2

By Scott Bury

Palm Trees and Snowflakes by Scott Bury cover

In Honolulu, where the palm trees are strung with lights for the holidays, FBI Special Agents Vanessa Storm and Alan Terakawa have their hands full trying to stop the deadly flow of snowflake, the newest designer drug. Time is running out to stop this lethal flood.

Amazon e-book

Fantasy

Defenders of the Realm

By Corinne O’Flynn

Defenders of the Realm cover by Lisa Maniforld and Corinne O'Flynn

War is here. There is no escape.

A witch at risk.

For Marigold, the questions keep mounting while answers remain elusive. With the drama surrounding her mother growing darker and the intrigue regarding her missing sister deepening, Marigold struggles to face reality over the lengths her family is willing to go to get what they want.

A Fae warrior in turmoil.
Navigating his new position in the King’s court should be enough to keep Eamonn busy, but he can’t stop thinking about Marigold’s illness, and her willingness to put herself in harm’s way–both of which could be deadly. He failed the king once before, he will not do it again.

The portals between the realms are broken and the Veil is under attack. The battle waged by the wolves–and their odd alliance with the witches–threatens everything the Fae hold dear.

And despite it all, the prophecy continues to unfold.

Amazon

Memoir

Freckled: A Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii 

By Toby Neal

Freckled cover by Toby Neal

For fans of The Glass Castle and Educated, comes mystery author Toby Neal’s personal story of surviving a wild childhood in paradise.

Born in 1965 to hippie surfer parents who just want to ride waves, use substances, and hide from society, red-headed Toby grows up as one of only a few hundred Caucasian “haole” people on the rugged, beautiful North Shore of Kauai, Hawaii.

“I wish I could slow down time, turn every moment to honey and watch it drip by.” Told from the immersive, first-person view of a child experiencing turbulent times as they occur, Freckled will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget as Toby catches an octopus with her bare hands to feed the family, careens on her first bike down a rugged dirt trail deep in the jungle, and makes money by selling magic mushrooms to a drug dealer. Living in tents and off the land without electricity or communication with the outside world, Toby escapes into reading and imagination to deal with racial harassment and indifferent parenting.

Toby’s idealistic parents, breaking away from high achieving families, struggle with mental health and addiction issues as they try to live according to their own rules. Despite the hardship and deprivations of life on Kauai, they return again and again to an island whose hold on them is more powerful than any drug, as sensitive and resilient Toby clings to a dream of academic achievement and a “normal” life.

Publishing December 30. 

Kindle edition |iBookstore  | Nook  |  Kobo 

Non-fiction

Book Reviews for Author Success

By Barb Drozdowich

BookReview Secrets cover by Barb Drozdowich

No idea where to start to get reviews for your book? Worried about hiring a professional service or contacting blogs to get those five-star marks? Award-winning author and professional reviewer Barb Drozdowich knows reviews inside and out. As the owner of the world’s largest reviewer database, let her break down the complex and confusing world of author testimonials to help you get the feedback you need to make your book a success.

Amazon e-book

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New bestseller out: Back Side of a Wicked Moon

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Love, Law and Justice comes to Boom Town Texas

By Caleb Pirtle III

Now available from Amazon

The discovery of oil has broken the stranglehold the Great Depression had on a dying East Texas town. Strangers are pouring into Ashland. Where there is oil, there are jobs, as well as con artists, thieves, scalawags, and at least one murderer.

One stranger drives a hearse. But who is he, and why is he found hanging from the crown block of an oil derrick.

The Sheriff might solve the mystery. It’s his job. But he’s discovered shot to death on his own drilling rig.

No one in town is above suspicion. But who has a deadly motive?

Eudora Durant is the most beautiful widow in town. She’s also the richest. With the charming con man Doc Bannister at her side, she risks everything to bring law and justice to a struggling boom town even if she has to personally keep an innocent man from being sentenced to the electric chair.

As one reviewer said about book one of the Boom Town saga series, Back Side of Blue Moon:

This story set in a small town in East Texas in the Great Depression should go down as a classic in American literature.”

Get it today from Amazon.

Caleb Pirtle III

is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

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Thursday teaser: Confessions from the Road

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This week’s travel teaser comes from the collection of stories gathered 

By Caleb Pirtle III

The Hope Prophecy

HE CAME TO the ancient land of his people because of the saucers in the sky. Dan Katchongva had always known this day would come.

He didn’t know where.

He didn’t know when.

Now he knew.

Dan Katchongva was a Hopi chieftain, and he had heard the stories handed down, sometimes in whispers, for centuries, and he had never doubted them.

Home was not the earth.

Life was temporary.

He would someday live among the stars.

He didn’t know where.

He didn’t know when.

Now he knew.

He told the newspaper in Prescott, Arizona: “Our people believe other planets are inhabited and that our prayers are heard there. We, the faithful Hopi, have seen the ships and know they are true.”

The Hopi has long had a connection with sky.

The Hopi has long been touched by the people who live among the stars.

They watch the skies.

And they wait.

“It is coming,” the chief said.

“What is coming?”

“The Day of Purification.”

He is stoic.

His face is solemn.

“The prophecies tell us,” he says, “that nature will speak with a mighty breath of wind. It will be the final decisive battle between good and evil. The oceans will join hands and meet the sky. It is the day when all wicked people and wrong-doers will be punished or destroyed.”

He pauses.

He gazes into a calm blue sky.

The sky is calling him, he says.

It’s been calling for a long time.

“The Hopi believes,” he continued, “that those who survive Purification Day will travel to other planets.”

The saucers will come for them.

He will be ready.

He waits no longer.

The saucers have come again.

The True White Brothers, he said, are coming to take the faithful away.

Have they come for him?

Some listen to Chief Dan Katchongva.

Others scorn him.

Mostly, his words fall on deaf ears.

He walks out of Prescott early one morning.

He heads across sacred lands.

He moves toward sacred mountains.

It is the tall country where the saucers are seen.

His head is held high.

His steps are strong.

The chief does not hesitate.

He walks all day and into the night.

He is one with the darkness.

And Prescott waits for him to return.

Prescott is still waiting.

No one ever saw Dan Katchongva again.

He left no footprints upon the earth.

Confessions from the Road

I grew up in a world occupied by storytellers. Their stories were better than books. Their stories became books. After all, life is just one story piled on top of another with page numbers.

In those days, storytellers did not know they were telling stories. They were simply carrying on a conversation. I never outgrew their stories. Nor did I ever stop listening to conversations that hopscotched their way along the side of a wayward road.

The voices stay with me. So do the stories they told me.

The voices may come from down the road apiece, at the counter of a diner, on the bar stool in a beer joint, sitting in the front yard of a mountain cabin, along a stretch of spun-sugar sand, back in the darkness of a pine thicket, amidst the downtown traffic jam of a city at sundown, or from the faint memories of a distant past.

Everyone who crosses my path has a story to tell. It may be personal. It may be something that happened last week or the year before. It may have been handed down for more than a single generation. It may even be true, but who knows anymore?

For decades I’ve collected the stories I hear and can’t forget those whose names are often long forgotten. But at one time in my life, they came my way, and I wrote down their confessions from the road.

Did you like this travel teaser? Find the book on 

Caleb Pirtle IIIBestselling author Caleb Pirtle III

is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

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Monday musings: When headlines mimic your own writing

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For the next few weeks, your favorite bestselling authors take a few words to describe times when they saw something in the world around them that seemed to echo events they described in their books. This week, it’s the author of Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever.

Headlines echo fiction

Photo by Jon S via flickr

By Caleb Pirtle III

A few weeks ago, I saw the headlines for a sports story, the kind you once never saw, but now see on a regular basis. The unthinkable had happened again. Players from a major college football team had been suspended from the team and from the school. They had all the talent in the world. They had a great opportunity to play football in college and maybe even the NFL. But in the blink of an eye, they faced temptation and made the wrong choice.

There were confronted with allegations of sexual assault. One girl came forward to charge them. Then another. Universities use female students all the time to recruit elite football players. Smile a lot. Show them around campus. Host them at parties. Some of the players think the real party begins after the lights go out. It doesn’t. And a few players take advantage of the situation. A friendly dance turns into assault. It becomes a crime.

Suspension was one thing. Jail time was another, and the right judge under the right circumstances could put them away for a long time. Were the players guilty? I don’t know. Or did the coach just not want them on the team anymore? It happens. Lives are changed forever. The lights dim. Hopes dim with it.

News headlines echoed the events in the bestselling novel Friday Nights Don't Last Forever.It happened in my novel about what goes on behind the scenes of recruiting in college football. In my novel Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever, a star quarterback gets caught up in the wrong party. A coach no longer wants him. He watches his life go down the drain. No one cares about his innocence. They just want his scholarship back to give to another. I wrote:

Casey’s heart began to shrivel. Word somehow had gotten out. Somebody, at last, must have figured out how Bethany Locklar died, and who had been in the bathtub with her the night those sewing scissors were driven between her breasts.

She had been so beautiful. So bruised. So purple. And now it was over.

“Casey,” Johnson continued in that slow drawl of his, “I hate to tell you this, son, but it seems as though we are going to have to withdraw the football scholarship we offered you.”

Casey was not surprised. But he said, “I don’t understand. I’ve already signed it. The news is already out that I’ve signed it.”

“It was a mistake. It doesn’t look like we have that particular scholarship available to us anymore.”

“You can’t do that to me.”

“Yes, we can, son.” J. T. Johnson was silent for a moment, then he pounded each word into Casey as though it were a nail. “Under the circumstances, son, I’m afraid we can do any damn thing we want to. We know what you don’t want anybody else to know. Do you understand exactly what I’m saying to you?”

Casey did. It had been Bethany Locklar’s job to recruit him.  She worked hard to recruit him.

Now it seemed she had died for nothing.

Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever

The dream of college football propels Casey Clinton into the best and worst times of his life. On Friday nights in Avalon, Alabama, football reigns supreme. Quarterback Casey Clinton’s magic arm drives recruiters and his opponents wild. Girls worship him. A preacher’s wife seduces him. Life can’t be any better.

But when slick college football recruiters offer the small-town high school player the chance for fame and glory, it’s no longer a game. It’s business. And it’s brutal. Lavish promises of money, women, and a spot at the top of the football world take Casey into a violent world he could never imagine.

Temptation is great. His life spirals out of control. His world crumbles out from under him. Football is no longer a sport. It’s a fight for survival in a game where everyone but Casey knows how to play.

Find it on Amazon.

Caleb Pirtle IIIBestselling author Caleb Pirtle III

is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

 

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Thursday teaser: Back Side of A Blue Moon

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This week’s teaser is a noir excerpt from Back Side of a Blue Moon

By Caleb Pirtle III

Photo by Hmaag via Creative Commons

Her head snapped back, and she felt the room spin. Nausea swelled in her stomach, and the room turned black, then white, and finally an ashen gray.

“Till death do us part,” he said. “That’s what the preacher said.”

Eudora tried to speak.

Her lips tasted like blood.

Her tongue was swollen.

“We’re still together, you and me,” Washburn said.

“Leave me alone.” It was a plea.

“They said I was dead,” he said. “Everybody said I was dead. You killed me, they said. They thought my tramp wife had killed me, they said. They thought death had done us part, they said.”

Washburn cocked the hammer on the shotgun.

“Maybe it will,” he said.

Eudora grabbed the bedspread, held on tight, and pulled herself off the floor.

Washburn slapped her again.

She fell.

Her face burned.

“That’s for stealing my land,” he said.

He jerked Eudora to her knees and slammed his fist into her nose.

Blood spurted.

It splattered the wall beside he like a drizzle of red rain.

“And that’s for taking another man, and I’m not dead yet.”

“You’re alive,” she whispered. “Half the land is yours.”

He jammed the barrel of the shotgun against her forehead.

“One shot,” he said, “and I’ll take it all. The land. The oil. I’ll be a rich man,” he said. “And all you’ll be is a dead bitch.”

Doc burst through the door.

No one had heard the footsteps.

No one knew he was coming.

His eyes were wide with anger.

His face was twisted with rage.

He screamed like a wild animal, uncaged and unleashed, as he charged across the bedroom floor.

He had blood in his eyes.

Washburn stepped back.

Eudora rolled to the side of the bed.

Washburn fired.

The shotgun blast tore into Doc’s stomach and knocked him back against the wall. He jerked and tumbled to his knees, clawing at the wound with both hands. Blood seeped through his shirt and puddled the floor beneath him.

Washburn calmly reached in his pocket and removed another shell.

He took his time to reload.

He was laughing now.

“Kill one,” he said.

He raised the shotgun to his shoulder.

“Kill two,” he said.

Washburn cocked the hammer.

“Don’t make any difference.”

He never saw Eudora.

He never looked her way.

He loomed over Doc and shoved the shotgun barrel against his chest.

Doc might be dead.

Might not.

God, don’t let him be dead.

One shot to make sure.

The kill shot.

Eudora grabbed Washburn’s double barrel shotgun and ripped it from beneath the bed.

She sat up.

Washburn stood above her.

She saw the look in his eyes.

She saw how crazy a crazy man could look if he were crazy.

She heard the laughing.

She heard how crazy a crazy laugh could sound if it was uttered by a man whose mind had been twisted like strands of barbed wire.

The laugh grew louder.

She couldn’t miss.

She knew it.

Eudora pulled both triggers at the same time.

At least she tried.

At least she thought she did.

 

Thunder rocked the bedroom. Thunder reverberated from one wall to the next. Thunder shook the floor. Thunder roared from the bosom of an unrepentant earth. Thunder rolled across the landscape like a freight train on a downhill run. Thunder seared deep into her soul.

Lightning flashed.

It sizzled.

It scarred everything it touched.

Eudora crumpled to the floor.

She fought back the fog and expected the rain.

She stared through an open window.

A hot wind touched her face.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

There was only the moon.

It was no longer blue.

Back Side of a Blue Moon

Times are hard along the Sabine River, and the little East Texas town of Ashland is crumbling under the weight of the Great Depression. Families are broke and hungry. For many, their last meal may well have been their last meal. Families are giving up and leaving town. Everyone knows the fate that awaits the scattered farms. No one can save Ashland. It is as isolated as the back side of a blue moon.

Into town comes Doc Bannister wearing a straw boater and a white suit. He is the miracle man. He has a homemade doodlebug machine that, he says, can find oil and make them all rich. Oil, he swears, lies beneath the blistered farmstead of Eudora Durant. She thinks Doc is a flim flam man. The Sheriff believes he is a con artist. Both are convinced that Doc has come to town to swindle every dime he can get before hitting the road again. Ashland knows Doc may be crooked, but he has brought hope to a town that had no hope.

Eudora has everything Doc wants. She is a beautiful woman who owns cheap land. In Ashland, she is known as the scarlet woman. Whispers say she murdered her husband. No one has seen him since the night they heard a shotgun blast on her farm. The town wants oil. Doc wants Eudora. But Eudora is too independent and stubborn to fall for the charms of a silver-tongued charlatan.

She holds the fate of Ashland in her hands. Will she let Doc drill? Is there really oil lying deep beneath her sunbaked land? Can Doc find it? Or is he more interested in finding love than oil? What happens when a man with a checkered past comes face to face with a woman whose past is as mysterious as his?

Caleb Pirtle III

is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

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Monday musings: Who is the greatest American hero?

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Wikimedia Commons

The Great American Heroes are the independent authors of today, and there are legions of them.

By Caleb Pirtle III

You probably never thought you were a hero.

You’re simply an author, you say.

That’s all.

You’ve just happened to cast your lot in life with eBooks and the digital revolution, and you say it’s hard to be a success.

There’s nothing heroic about it.

On some days, it seems that you merely throwing words against the wall to see if any of them stick, and some of them don’t, and the wall throws some of them back in your face.

Frustration sets in.

Don’t fret.

Frustration knocks on all of our doors.

For a writer, it always has.

In publishing, even during the days when agents and editors and traditional publishing ruled the industry, it was tough to be successful.

Finding an agent was hard.

Finding a publisher was even more difficult.

Selling your book was almost impossible.

A New York publisher might release 300 titles a year. The man in charge hoped that seven of them would sell enough copies to pay the losses on the other 293 titles and still make a profit.

Big risk.

Big reward.

Don’t despair.

Just remember one important fact.

Since the beginning of time, the world and all of humanity need storytellers.

You just happen to be a storyteller.

And you have a story to tell.

All you need is the Great American Hero.

You know him.

Or her.

The Great American Hero has long been the foundation of fiction, nonfiction, film, legends, and life.

The Great American Hero has always been the one who stood strong when he had no chance of winning, who went to war against overwhelming odds, who defied those odds, who refused to bend, refused to back down, refused to quit.

So who are the Great American Heroes of today?

Look in the mirror sometime.

The Great American Heroes are the independent authors, and there are legions of them.

They battle the fickle and unpredictable publishing business alone.

Only the fortunate few find someone to help them.

But they are willing to forsake any semblance of a normal, sensible life and invest their time and their talent, their hopes and their dreams, their last ounce of sanity in novels they pray someone will buy and someone will want to read.

Frustrations come.

But like a bellyache, it passes.

Indie writers keep getting knocked down.

They keep getting back up.

They don’t give up.

They don’t quit.

They can’t.

There is always another story to be told, and the Great American Heroes can’t wait to tell it.

Caleb Pirtle III

is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

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