January 5, 2018

Lone Star Book Blog Tours : Anahuac by William D. Darling

A Texas Story (Volume 2)

  Genre: Historical Fiction / Thriller
Publisher: Canned Peas Productions
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 244

Scroll down for the giveaway!

The Anahuac of 1972 is more than just an isolated outpost on Texas’s Trinity Bay – it’s a place where greed and justice uncomfortably intermingle, where the evangelical fervor of charismatic preachers resonate, where blacks and whites navigate a fragile co-existence, and where a murder leads to even darker mysteries than murder. 
Jim Ward, introduced in Morgan’s Point as a young, idealistic Houston prosecutor, returns in Anahuac as an older, more conflicted, more complicated man, coming to Anahuac to defend a man who appears guilty of a horrible crime. His discoveries lead to entanglements in the very nature of good and evil, in a town that is at once of its time and timeless, steeped in a history that is unexpectedly but definitively drawing Ward in its narrative web.


"Austin writer William D. Darling’s second novel, Anahuac, is an entertaining, engrossing legal thriller that offers both darkly humorous and good-natured thrusts at life, love, and law . . . first-rate reading, especially for readers who enjoy legal thrillers, lawyer procedurals, suspense, Texas settings, and characters who live large." - Lone Star Literary Life

"Darling draws vivid portraits of his setting while also bringing in historical currents like women’s liberation, the growth of container shipping, and the rise of the prosperity gospel, adding interest to what’s otherwise a fairly simple courtroom drama." Kirkus Reviews

I'm a Texan originally from the east coast who's had occasion to meet some of these characters from another planet. Darling weaves us through the minds of lawyers with jealousies, insecurities, questions of faith, honor, and guilt as they tackle the case of a horrible crime that has the potential to put a man of God away forever. I held on tight as we went through the engrossing trial, which did not disappoint! If you love history, crime, passion, religion, and suspense, this is a must read! Kristy Recker (an Amazon reviewer)

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

Texas is like the Old Testament. There are villains, heroes, mistakes and mysteries enough to keep a writer busy.

Why did you choose to write historical fiction?

As I looked back to the way things were in Texas in the 20th century, I realized that I had a special vantage point to those times. Telling fictional stories about the mid-century times allowed me to provide context to those readers who weren’t alive. I am not defending the way things were, only hoping to give readers a perspective.

Where did your love of books come from?

I had books from the earliest time I can remember. They seemed magical to me. My mother read to me often and once I learned to read, I never stopped. I was one of those kids with a flashlight under the covers reading when I was supposed to be asleep. I read When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide in Middle School. It was about eight hundred pages. It was all I cared about while I was reading it.

How does Anahuac relate to your faith?

Anahuac let me explore an era when the Prosperity Gospel was first widely preached. The advent of television evangelists brought dramatic changes to the way the gospels were interpreted. I don’t see my writing as primarily about religion, but about predestination, free will, sin and its reward. Jim Ward (lead character and voice of the series) is still tormented as an adult by the deaths of two young girls whose deaths he witnessed but was unable to prevent. He was fourteen years old at the time. If you view the world as being preordained, it leads to further confusion about concepts of right and wrong. If the mysteries of life are about religion, then I guess you can say that my writing relates to faith.

What character from Anahuac are you least like?

That is pretty easy for me. The Reverend Randall Clay is so damned sure of his interpretation of the Bible. In a way, I guess I envy him. He was willing to bet it all on his faith. It sounds like a good idea, but I’m not sure I’m there yet.

What is the hardest part of writing a book?

To stop trying to write and listen to those wonderful stories that the people in my head will tell me if I just listen. I sold a house two years ago and could not move into the condo I had purchased because it wasn’t finished. I moved to various temporary places while construction was delayed. I quit writing Anahuac for a period of two months. An important character in Anahuac is Sarita Jo Franklin. Sarita Jo’s part in of the story lay fallow. One morning as I lay in bed in a drowsy state, her voice erupted in my head. “Sonny,” she growled, “I gave you a hell of a story. If you don’t want to write it, I’ll find someone else who will.”
I jumped out of bed and worked three days to finish her part in the tale of Anahuac. Sarita Jo is not someone to be ignored. An interesting twist to this story is that I am now writing a prequel to Anahuac to tell Sarita Jo’s life story and how she got to where she is in Anahuac. Her story has led me to do serious research on POW camps in Texas (they were all over the U.S. during WWII) where large numbers of Rommel’s Afrika Korps was interned during the war. Sarita Jo told me to go research the story of these camps. I had never heard of them before. In short, the hardest thing for me to do is listen closely to those voices in my head and quit trying to be a writer.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I am tempted to make a joke such as “See, I told you I was hurting!” I read an obituary about two years ago that said, “He never finished his book.” I guarantee you that motivated me to finish Morgan’s Point. Maybe I could settle for “an author who finished the series A Texas Story.”

William D. Darling is a lifelong storyteller and very nearly a native Texan, arriving in his beloved state as an infant in 1942. His first novel, Morgan’s Point, introduced readers to both the mid-‘60s rough-and-tumble world of the Houston courts where Darling came of age, and the Galveston Bay region that has long fascinated him. His latest novel Anahuac, serves as a sequel to Morgan’s Point as well as its own fascinating tale.
Darling, who has lived within the legislative bustle of Washington, D.C. and in the beauty of a Central Texas ranch, currently resides in Austin, where he and his wife have built a longstanding law practice.


January 12, 2018, 7:00PM
Anahuac Reading; Signing Deep Vellum Books, 3000 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX, US

January 20, 2018, 10:00AM

Anahuac Reading in Anahuac William D. Darling brings it on home! He'll read from Anahuac in the city where the new novel is set for the first time ever.
Chambers County Library202 Cummings StreetAnahuacTXUS

February 17, 2018, 4:30PM

Anahuac Houston Release Event William D. Darling will sign and read from Anahuac, celebrating the release of the book with friends and well-wishers in the city he once called home, as part of a multi-author event. 
Murder by the Books2342 BissonnetHoustonTXUS 

THREE WINNERS EACH WIN A COPY OF ANAHUAC + $10 Amazon Gift Card January 5-January 14, 2018

(U.S. Only)


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