Tag Archives: Texana

Review & Giveaway: 6 Feet Under Texas by Tui Snider

SIX FEET UNDER TEXAS:

 Unique, Famous, & Historic Graves in the Lone Star State
(Cemetery Tales Book 1)
by
TUI SNIDER
  
Genre: Nonfiction / Texana / History / Texas Travel
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: August 15, 2020
Number of Pages: 250 pages 
 
Scroll down for Giveaway!
 

Explore the cemeteries of Texas with Tui Snider as she reveals overlooked history in these fascinating open-air museums. 

 
Along the way, you’ll meet fascinating characters, including a whistleblower who died in suspicious circumstances, an oilman who added a phone line to his mausoleum, and the events that caused two “frenemies” to be chained together in death.
 
 
Review

I was very excited to get my hands on 6 Feet Under Texas: Unique, Famous, & Historic Graves in the Lone Star State by Tui Snider for two reasons. Reason one, I loved Paranormal Texas – Snider’s writing style is so fun to read and you can really tell that she did her homework. Reason two, I’m too much of a weenie to actually go to haunted places, but I can handle visiting graves in broad daylight.

Although the subject material has changed, Snider has not. She still writes like that fun friend who shares the best stories at every party. And these stories – not matter how fantastical they seem- are not pulled out of thin air. She will give you websites and books to reference, and encourages you to fact check her or share your own theories and findings.

The gravesites are organized alphabetically by the city they are located in and each chapter is preceded by a simple Texas map with a star on the featured location. Snider picked a lot of cities that I’ve never heard of, but I hope to someday stop at some of them on my next road trip. I really appreciated the variety of graves that she selected – from fun stories like a space alien in Aurora, to reverent ones from historic times, to more recent tragedies like the namesake of the Amber Alert – Snider approaches each story with respect and aims to give us the most accurate information possible. If she hit a dead end or had multiple theories that are yet to be proven, she tells us.

In true guidebook fashion, Snider gives us the address, website if available, and markers to go by. As someone who had to track down a famous writer’s grave for creative writing eons ago, I am a big fan of the markers and photos of significant landmarks that help the readers locate the graves. Speaking of photos, I really wish that they had been printed in color. “Graves in color?” you might ask. Not all of the photos are gravestones. There’s a huge stamp mural that I would have loved to see in color and some interesting structures with details that are lost in black and white.

Despite the array of stories told, some even intertwining to great effect, I finished this book wishing there was more. It turns out that COVID-19 threw a wrench into Snider’s tour across Texas. But on the upside, we will be getting a volume two! Be sure to let Snider know on social media if there is anything in particular that you want her to check out.

The timing of this book couldn’t have been better with Halloween just around the corner. I recommend this book to people who like history, travel, and quirky books.

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, photographer, YouTuber, podcast host, and musician who researches historic cemeteries and symbolism, offbeat Texas travel, overlooked history, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction–but then I moved to Texas!”
 
Snider’s best-selling books include Understanding Cemetery Symbols, 100 Things to Do in Dallas-Fort Worth Before You Die, Paranormal Texas, and many more. Snider has several books in progress and enjoys connecting with readers all over the globe through social media, her weekly newsletter, and website: TuiSnider.com.
◆  WEBSITE  ◆  FACEBOOK  ◆  TWITTER  
◆  AMAZON  ◆  GOODREADS  ◆
◆  INSTAGRAM  ◆   YOUTUBE  ◆
 ————————————— 
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
 THREE WINNERS 
GRAND PRIZE (US only):
Paperback + $10 Amazon Gift Card
Thank You Postcard
2ND PRIZE (US only): Paperback & Thank You Postcard
3RD PRIZE  (worldwide): e-book
  September 29-October 9, 2020
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
or visit the blogs directly:
 

9/29/20

Review

StoreyBook
Reviews

9/29/20

Review

Rainy
Days with Amanda

9/30/20

Review

Momma
on the Rocks

10/1/20

Review

Missus
Gonzo

10/1/20

Review

The
Clueless Gent

10/2/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

10/2/20

Review

The
Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/3/20

Review

Forgotten Winds

10/4/20

Review

That’s
What She’s Reading

10/5/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/6/20

Review

Hall
Ways Blog

10/7/20

Review

Max Knight

10/7/20

Review

All
the Ups and Downs

10/8/20

Review

It’s
Not All Gravy

10/8/20

Review

Book
Fidelity

blog tour services provided by

3 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Giveaway, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

Review: The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch by Bill Sarpalius

THE GRAND DUKE FROM BOYS RANCH
EUGENIA AND HUGH M. STEWART ’26 SERIES
by
BILL SARPALIUS
foreword by Bill Hobby
Genre: Memoir / Texana / Politics / Eastern European History
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
on Facebook   │   on Twitter   │   on Instagram
Date of Publication: April 16, 2018
Number of Pages: 336 pages w/50 B&W photos
As a boy in Houston, Bill Sarpalius, his brothers, and their mother lived an itinerant life. Bill dug food out of trashcans, and he and his brothers moved from one school to the next. They squatted in a vacant home while their mother, affectionately called “Honey,” battled alcoholism and suicidal tendencies. In an act of desperation, she handed her three sons over to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch north of Amarillo.

At the time, Bill was thirteen years old and could not read. Life at Boys Ranch had its own set of harrowing challenges, however. He found himself living in fear of some staff and older boys. He became involved in Future Farmers of America and discovered a talent for public speaking. When he graduated, he had a hundred dollars and no place to go. He worked hard, earned a scholarship from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and obtained a college degree. After a brief career as a teacher and in agribusiness, he won a seat in the Texas Senate. Driven by the memory of his suffering mother, he launched the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in an effort to help people struggling with addiction.
Sarpalius later served in the United States Congress. As a Lithuanian American, he took a special interest in that nation’s fight for independence from the Soviet Union. For his efforts, Sarpalius received the highest honor possible to a non-Lithuanian citizen and was named a “Grand Duke.”The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch is a unique political memoir—the story of a life full of unlikely paths that is at once heartbreaking and inspirational.

 
PRAISE FOR THE GRAND DUKE FROM BOYS RANCH: 

“The autobiography of Bill Sarpalius reads like a 20 -century version of the American dream – equal parts heartbreak and inspiration, culminating in an unlikely political career capped by three terms in the U.S. Congress.” — University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs
“The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch is an inspiring tale of perseverance and personal courage.” — Si Dunn, Lone Star Literary Life
 
CLICK TO PURCHASE
review
I thought that a memoir by a politician would read snooty and high falutin, but The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch is a real comfortable conversation with someone you just met but feel like you have known for years. I could imagine myself sitting on a porch, watching horses graze nearby, as I sip a mason jar of ice cold sweet tea and listen to Bill talk about his life.
To say that Bill attended the school of hard knocks would be an understatement. Bill was more like the janitor, ridiculed by staff and students alike, who worked hard and remained kind no matter what. That’s a metaphor by the way. Bill wasn’t a janitor, but he definitely would have taken on such a job since he was a honest worker who did whatever he could to make his life, and the lives of others around him, better.
From the humblest of beginnings, this man fought fairly and let God (and his heart) lead the way. There were some times that I thought things sounded a little too good to be true, but then a hammer dropped and his life would shatter. His faith and his true blue friends would see him through every rough spot in his life, and he would claw his way back to the top. Bill never quit. Bill never fought dirty. And what I really admired about Bill is that he really didn’t let the past get in the way of his future. His eye was ever on the silver lining.
For a book that is written in laymen’s language through and through, there were surprisingly very few errors. For the most part, this book is chronological and has a pretty nice flow to it. Bill has the gift of storytelling, but I think his life is so unique and interesting that I would have still been captivated even if a lesser author penned this book. Sometimes he explains things a little too on the nose, but I like to think that he’s done that for people who might need that extra help with reading comprehension. And anytime you start to wonder if he stretches the truth a little, he has photographic evidence of the people he’s met along the way.
I recommend this book to young people who are struggling in school, to people who are just struggling with life in general, to educators, to administrators, heck, to pretty much anyone who might need to find inspiration or are praying for divine intervention. I closed this book with a renewed spirit to do more and to do good in the world. No excuses, anything is possible.
BILL SARPALIUS represented the Texas 13th Congressional District from 1989 to 1995, and from 1981 to 1989 he served in the Texas State Senate. He currently is a motivational speaker and serves as CEO of Advantage Associates International. He divides his time between Maryland and Houston, Texas.
 
 
MEET THE AUTHOR! 
BARNES & NOBLE, #2665
2:00 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2018
2415 Soncy Road
Amarillo, TX 79124
 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

8/21/18
Notable Quotable
8/22/18
Review
8/23/18
Excerpt
8/24/18
Video Interview, Part 1
8/25/18
Review
8/26/18
Excerpt
8/27/18
Scrapbook Page
8/28/18
Review
8/29/18
Video Interview, Part 2
8/30/18
Review
blog tour services provided by

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

Special Feature: Texas in Her Own Words as told to Tweed Scott

TEXAS IN HER OWN WORDS
(Second Edition)

 

by

 

Tweed Scott
Genre: Texas / Texana / General Interest
Publisher: Tejas Publishing
Date of Publication: June 16, 2016
Number of Pages: 336
Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

Texas in Her Own Words is a peek into the Texas psyche. It explains why Texans are the way they are . . . where all that attitude comes from. This work is the result of a statewide search for what author Tweed Scott calls the “T-Chromosome.” Texans are different but why?  Scott went statewide to find the answers to three basic questions. 1) What makes Texas special? 2) Why is this place so different than anywhere else on the planet? 3) If and when it applied, what does it mean to you personally to BE a native Texan?

 

Scott shares some remarkable answers with you throughout the book. In the end, he learned that all Texans share four traits or attributes. When you finish this book, you will understand why Texans are the way they are. IF you are a native Texan, chances are you will find some of yourself between the covers of this book. It’s a fun read.

Praise for Texas in Her Own Words

“Searching for the soul of Texas, Tweed Scott has done a great service.  People and places and the cowboy poetry of the heart — Texas in Her Own Words is chockfull of all of these things.  It deserves a special place on your bookshelf. Say right between Larry McMurtry and J. Frank Dobie.” Kinky Friedman, author and entertainer
 
“It’s a Texas thing, you either have it, or you don’t.  Few people can define such an emotion, a feeling, a pride that is embedded so deep.  This book made me cry and smile at the same time.  Texas in Her Own Words helps to explain what ‘Lone Star state of mind’ is. . .” — TJ Greaney, Publisher, Countryline Magazine.
 
“I [Patricia Spork] very highly recommend Texas in Her Own Words (Second Edition) by Tweed Scott to Texas researchers and historians, to any hopeful “wannabe” Texan or to any yee hawin’ boastful Texan, like me (a transplanted didn’t-know-it “wannabe”).” 
Patricia Spork, freelance writer and artist
 
CLICK TO PURCHASE  
Amazon * Texas Trading Post * Tejas Publishing
Design

Tweed Scott is a laugh-out-loud funny motivational speaker and corporate entertainer. He retired from broadcasting after 31 years. His broadcasting accomplishments include operating the highest rated FM station in America and later the 5th highest rated AM station in America. Tweed is an award winning speaker and the author of the three-time national award-winning book, Texas in Her Own Words. His book is sold at the Alamo, the state capitol gifts shops in Austin, the San Jacinto Museum & Battleground, and the Sam Houston Statue & Visitor’s Center in Huntsville.

 

 

He is the past president of the board for the Writers’ League of Texas serving some 1,300 members. Tweed now writes for several magazines and has built his own writing and speaking company, Tejas Publishing, LLC.  He is a graduate of Lamar University and a US Navy veteran. He continues to write and spread what he calls, “The Gospel of Texas.”

 

 ————————————— 

 

ENTER TO WIN ONE OF THREE SIGNED COPIES! 
(US ONLY)
August 22 – September 5, 2016 

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

8/22
Guest Post 1
8/23
Review
8/24
Author Interview 1
8/25
Excerpt 1
8/26
Review
8/27
Guest Post 2
8/28
Promo
8/29
Review
8/30
Excerpt 2
8/31
Tweed’s Scrapbook
9/1
Review
9/2
Author Interview 2
9/3
Review
9/4
Promo
9/5
Review

 

 

blog tour services provided by:
 
 
 
 
 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Giveaway, Guest Post, Lone Star Book Blog Tours