Spotlight on Texas Audio Books

July 2001

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Texas Produced Titles in NLS Collection



Spanish Fiction

Spanish Nonfiction


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Spotlight on Texas is a quarterly cassette publication announcing the latest audio books produced by volunteers at the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio in Austin and at the Recording Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Midland. The audio version of "Spotlight on Texas" is distributed on request to Texans with disabilities who are registered to receive the Talking Book Program's free library service.

Since 1978, Talking Book volunteers have recorded thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles by Texas authors or about the history, culture, folklore, and people of the Lone Star state. Titles recorded include biographies, histories, westerns, romances, mysteries, self-help, travel, and children's books. More than 10 new books are completed each month, including some in Spanish. In addition, volunteers record three Texas magazines: Texas Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and Texas Highways.

If you would like to receive an audio cassette copy of "Spotlight on Texas" each quarter, please contact the Talking Book Program through the phone numbers, e-mail address, postal address, or fax number listed at the bottom of this page.

To order any of the books listed below, note the titles and CT book numbers you would like to request. Then call a Reader Consultant toll-free in Texas at 1-800-252-9605 or, in Austin, at 512-463-5458. A voicemail message service is available after hours and on weekends for you to leave book requests or other messages. Say your full name and patron number (if known) clearly when leaving messages and give the CT book number and title for each request. Book orders may also be sent in an e-mail message to:

Following the list of titles recently recorded by our volunteers, we also feature in this issue a section on mysteries recorded in years past. We are pleased to provide this reminder to you that these mystery books are available.

Note the titles and book numbers you would like to request, then call us at any time with your order.

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Texas Produced Titles in NLS Collection

Footnotes: A Memoir


by Tommy Tune, Narrated by Ev Lunning, 2 cassettes Born and raised in Texas, Tommy Tune (yes, that is his real name) has delighted audiences with his energetic and graceful dancing. He has been equally successful as a choreographer, actor, and director. This memoir is Tune's collection of short vignettes from his life, written in a folksy style with no particular chronology. This book contains: Some Sex and Profanity

Trespasses: Portrait of a Serial Rapist


by Howard Swindle, Narrated by Ev Lunning, 2 cassettes

No one is comfortable discussing rape, a violent crime still shrouded in shame and misinformation. Writers are often accused of exploiting or sensationalizing the individuals involved. Journalist Howard Swindle takes on the difficult task of chronicling the so-called Ski Mask Rapes that occurred in Dallas from 1985 through 1990, including the police investigation that finally resulted in the conviction of Gilbert Escobedo. Escobedo allowed the author to visit and correspond with him in prison for two years. While gathering material for his book Swindle also interviewed several of the rapist's victims whose identities are shielded by pseudonyms. The result is a thoroughly researched account of a chain of crimes that traumatized possibly as many as one hundred women. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, and Profanity

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Ask a Policeman

CT 6461

by Rolando Hinojosa, Narrated by Ev Lunning, 2 cassettes When Lee Gomez, a former Mexican government official convicted of murder, is sprung from a south Texas jail, the lawmen of Klail City have their hands full. No one is more concerned than Chief Inspector Rafe Buenrostro of the Belken County Homicide Squad, because criminals don't come much nastier than Lee and his drug-running brother. Buenrostro struggles to keep his cool as gunfire, explosions, and seamy sex heat up the already scorching Texas-Mexico borderlands. This book contains: Some Sex and Violence


Biggie and The Meddlesome Mailman

CT 6454

by Nancy Bell, Narrated by Jeanne Guichard, 2 cassettes

Luther Abernathy is a mailman with a dangerous habit. He makes it his business to know everyone else's-and then broadcasts it all over town. But it becomes clear that someone doesn't want him--or anyone else-to know one of the many secrets that lie within Luther's veritable treasure chest of knowledge. When Luther meets an untimely death, Biggie and young J.R. are the ones to find his body. It is seemingly an accidental death, but inconsistencies in the police report suggest foul play, and Biggie once again puts on her detecting hat. Twelve-year-old J.R. again narrates the sidesplitting adventures of his irrepressible grandmother Biggie Weatherford, set in a small town of Job's Crossing. #4 in the series.


Chocolate Lizards

CT 6476

by Cole Thompson, Narrated by Dick Collins, 2 cassettes

When a Harvard-educated aspiring actor loses all of his cash during a bus-ride poker game, he finds himself stranded in Abilene, Texas. Enter Merle Luskey, a hard-drinkin', tough-talkin', oil-drillin', wild catter who just happens to have a job opening. About to lose his oil rigs and his ranch to the bank, Merle has a proposition for his new friend: he needs a "rat killer," someone smart enough to help him outwit the bank, the sheriff, and a rival drilling company in a frantic race to hit pay dirt before the foreclosure goes through. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, and Profanity


Crazy For Trying: A Novel

CT 6460

by Joni Rodgers, Narrated by Janice Lathin, 2 cassettes

Tulsa Bitters, 19 years old and Rubenesque, is blessed with a rich melodious voice and a wicked sense of humor. She's also broken-hearted and has no place big enough to call home. Having lost her mother to cancer and her East Coast lover to pride (his), she runs to Montana, where she becomes the first female disc jockey in Helena. It's 1970, and Tulsa's midnight rock-n-roll voice attracts every loner in town but most powerfully a battling misfit of a man who can't sleep, works hard at destroying every memory his father has left him, and turns the dial late at night just to find her voice. This book contains: Heavy Sex and Profanity


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Dangerous Virtues: Honesty

CT 6348

by Elaine Barbieri, Narrated by Therese East, 3 cassettes

When the covered wagon that was taking her family west capsized in a flood-swollen river, Honesty Buchanan's life was changed forever. Raised in an Abilene saloon by its flamboyant mistress, Honesty learned to earn her keep as a crooked cardsharp. Continually searching for her missing sisters, Honesty found instead Texas Ranger Sinclair Archer who was sworn to put thieves like herself behind bars. In him, Honesty found the love she had been seeking ever since she had lost her family. This book contains: some Sex, Violence and Profanity


Death at Bishop's Keep

CT 6463

by Robin Paige, Narrated by Dana Schuff, 2 cassettes

Kathryn Ardleigh is everything the Victorian English gentlewoman is not-outspoken, free-thinking, American . . . and a writer of the frowned upon "penny-dreadfuls." When Kate arrives in Essex, England, she shocks the household at Bishop's Keep-and captures the interest of amateur detective Sir Charles Sheridan as they begin their first case together. A dead body has been uncovered at a nearby archaeological dig. The investigation provides the perfect research for Kate's fiction. But the curious writer may be digging too deep-especially when the trail leads her into a secret occult society. This book contains: Violence



CT 6478

by Charles Meyer, Narrated by Janice Lathin, 3 cassettes

An Episcopal priest hears a private confession in a foreign tongue from a mysterious supplicant who then tries to kill him. After his escape, the priest learns that the words he has heard are unique to the Deathangel murderer imprisoned ten years earlier. Matt Beck, a chaplain whose wife was killed by the Deathangel and Anne Demming, a photo-journalist who did a ten-year retrospective on the Deathangel murders unite to reopen the case. But they confront a conspiracy involving police, politicians, priests and terrorists, none of whom want the case reopened. This book contains: Profanity


Distant Blood

CT 6366

by Jeff Abbott, Narrated by Jack Huff, 3 cassettes

When Jordan Poteet returned to his hometown of Mirabeau, Texas to care for his ailing mother and manage the public library, he discovered the unnerving truth about his birth. His real father was Bob Don Goertz, not the man in whose home he grew up. "Distant Blood" opens with an invitation to Bob Don's family reunion on a remote Gulf Coast island. A series of anonymous threatening letters warns Jordan to stay away from his newly found kin and he soon discovers why. The family is haunted by a terrible crime in its past and is quite willing to kill to preserve the secret. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, and Profanity


Drinker of Blood

CT 6462

by Lynda S. Robinson, Narrated by Janice Langlinais, 2 cassettes

Who killed the fabulously beautiful Queen Nefertiti? For all her bejeweled beauty and warm wisdom, and despite all her dreams for her glorious Egypt, beloved Nefertiti is dead. Lord Meren not only suspects homicide, but is certain the culprit must be a personage of high power at court. Lord Meren knows that the pharaoh has more than his share of burdens ruling a kingdom in turmoil; he does not need the specter of royal murder added to the load. And so the Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh, as the powerful Meren is called, elects to pursue his investigation of Nefertiti's death under the dark cloak of secrecy.


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The Fourth Steven

CT 6464

by Margaret Moseley, Narrated by Linda Fox, 2 cassettes

When book rep Honey Huckleberry answers her phone, she's not surprised to hear that it's her friend Steven, one of them anyway. But when he confesses to murder, Honey's sure this "Steven" is no friend of hers. And when the other Stevens start dying, the fourth Steven is the first suspect in a murderous countdown. This book contains: Some Sex and Violence


The Fugitive Heart

CT 6472

by Jane Orcutt, Narrated by Ruth Borinstein, 2 cassettes Growing up on the Kansas prairie, Samantha Martin cherished two desires: to love God and marry her childhood sweetheart. But the War Between the States took nearly everything-her family, her home, and Nathan, her love. When he returns six years later, she is shocked to discover he's no longer the gentle boy she's always adored. Instead, he is a physically and emotionally scarred man on the run, dodging charges of theft . . . and murder. Nathan Hamilton once dreamed of seeing the world, becoming a doctor, and making Samantha his bride. But instead of adventure, he encountered tragedy and made choices that nearly destroyed his life. This book contains: Violence


Murder at the Feast of Rejoicing

CT 6475

by Lynda S. Robinson, Narrated by Carol Esler, 2 cassettes

In a tale of ancient Egyptian political intrigue and murder, the small group gathered at Lord Meren's country house to celebrate his homecoming is soon to become yet smaller. Anhai, Meren's beautiful cousin-in-law, falls victim to murder. True, she had myriad lovers and a scorpion tongue, but why was her body arranged so meticulously, as if for sleep? Stripping bare the deepest secrets of the nest of cobras who are his nearest relatives, Meren finds the thread that leads to the truth. This book contains: Profanity


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CT 6003

by Diana Palmer, Narrated by Therese East, 2 cassettes

Born into the Victorian era, Nora Marlowe was raised in Richmond, Virginia in a manner suitable for a lady of quality. But she has a surprisingly adventurous streak for so conventional a young woman. Impulsively, Nora accepts her aunt's invitation to visit her East Texas ranch, excited by the prospect of handsome cowboys and romantic adventures. Her childish illusions fall away as she learns some painful lessons about acceptance, maturity, and love. This book contains: Heavy Sex


Plain Seeing

CT 6466

by Sandra Scofield, Narrated by Cindy Johnson, 2 cassettes

When 15-year-old Lucy, the protagonist, loses her mother, grief compounds with sorrow at the realization that she never really knew her-and now never will. Lucy's few memories of her mother include the days spun out in regret, and the image of her 17-year-old mother stepping off the train and into her own mother's arms-devastated, young, and pregnant with Lucy. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, and Profanity


Riddle Me a Murder

CT 6477

by Duane Crowley, Narrated by Dianna Dorman, 2 cassettes

A tale of murder and suspense based on an apocryphal incident in the life of Geoffrey Chaucer-soldier, lawyer, lover, and poet in the mid-14th century. The young Chaucer is given his first commission as a lawyer by his patron, the powerful Duke John of Gaunt, and finds himself in the center of a tangled web of treachery and intrigue. A lady close to the Queen is murdered and the Church names Duke John's physician, the murderer. Geoffrey must keep the old Italian from the torture chamber of the cathedral where he will surely implicate Gaunt, the Church's enemy. There is a star-crossed love affair, a desperate flight through the war-ravaged French countryside, the fall of a castle and finally, the bloody climax in which Geoffrey Chaucer is likely to lose everything he prizes, even his life. This book contains: Some Sex and Violence


Shadow Soldier

CT 6453

by T.L. Davis, Narrated by Tom Fairbrother, 2 cassettes

Jefferson Doddridge Wilkes is a young, Southern aristocrat, until the Civil War breaks the back of Southern society and leaves him penniless. While his father tries to regain his lost wealth, through unscrupulous means, Jeff is sent into the Frontier West to fend for himself in a world of cutthroats, thieves, and gunslingers. Disillusioned and dispirited, Jeff works as a stable hand until a band of cattle thieves sweep into town and draw him into a world of danger. His courage is tested, his morality stretched, while he becomes one of the West's most feared and respected pistoleers. This book contains: Violence


Society of the Mind: A Cyberthriller

CT 6343

by Eric L. Harry, Narrated by Chris Hunnell, 4 cassettes

One million dollars for a week's work at the South Pacific island home of the world's richest man. Overwhelmed by the offer, research psychologist Laura Aldridge meets Joseph Gray and discovers that the job involves psychoanalyzing his most prized invention-a supercomputer infected with a mysterious virus that resembles human insanity. This book contains: Profanity

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Nonfiction Amon: The Texan Who Played Cowboy for America

CT 6480

by Jerry Flemmons, Narrated by Harold Steadman, 3 cassettes

For much of mid-twentieth century America and the world, Amon G. Carter, Sr. was the man who invented the cowboy-at least the larger-than-life Texas version that captured the imagination of not only the public, but presidents, movie stars, moguls, and other contemporary icons. Carter was the publisher of the Fort Worth Star Telegram and champion of West Texas. In the mid-twentieth century he was a mover and a shaker who rubbed shoulders with the famous and powerful. This book contains: Profanity


Cattle Empire: The Fabulous Story of the 3,000,000 Acre XIT

CT 6471

by Lewis Nordyke, Narrated by Dorothy Browning, 2 cassettes

Using primary documents, Nordyke writes a history of the famous XIT ranch in the panhandle of Texas. In 1879, the 16th Texas Legislature appropriated 3 million acres of land to finance a new state Capitol building. The destruction of the old capitol building by fire on November 9, 1881, made construction of a new building urgent and early in 1882 Mathias Schnell of Rock Island, Illinois, accepted the contract in return for the land. This book contains: Profanity


Saving the Best of Texas: A Partnership Approach to Conservation

CT 6257

by Richard C. Bartlett, Narrated by Jack Gazzale, 2 cassettes

The commitment to conservation partnerships by many individuals and groups-private landowners, federal and state agencies, and conservation advocacy organizations-has resulted in many success stories in Texas described in this book. Author Richard C. Bartlett also wanted to highlight the need for future cooperative efforts to preserve Texas' extraordinary natural beauty and biodiversity for the generations yet to come.


Texas Music

CT 6399

by Rick Koster, Narrated by Carol Esler, 4 cassettes

Veteran music journalist Rick Koster surveys a very expansive music scene from a very large state. He has researched all forms of music (country, rock, blues, jazz, Tejano, soul, funk, New Age, classical, easy listening, and opera) and the players who created it. This book contains: Profanity


Texas Sampler: Historical Recollections

CT 6459

by Lisa Waller Rogers, Narrated by Marilyn Swinton, 1 cassette

Thirty-two primary source documents, including excerpts from diaries, memoirs, letters, and tales preserve the pre-Civil War history of Texas. The voices include a German housewife, a slave, a Comanche chief, a pioneer mother, a blacksmith, a mustanger, as well as historical figures.

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Spanish Fiction

En Busca de Bernabé (In Search of Bernabe)

CT 6382

by Graciela Limón, Narrated by Richard Ezell, 2 cassettes

Since Luz Delcano's son, Lucio, was taken from her, she is especially protective of Bernabe. Lucio becomes head of state security, the Salvadoran equivalent of a death squad, while Bernabe, destined for the priesthood, disappears after the assassination of the archbishop. Luz looks for Bernabe, who has joined the guerillas, but finds him too late to save him from his brother. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, and Profanity


Sonrisa Etrusca (Etruscan Smile)

CT 6373

by José Luis Sampedro, Narrated by Marisol Brown, 2 cassettes

Set in modern-day Italy, this love story tells of the belated discovery of life's meaning and passion by an elderly man whose young grandson teaches him the value of youthful optimism.

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Spanish Nonfiction

La Nueva Psicologia del Amor (The New Physical of Love)

CT 5469

by Scott M. Peck, Narrated by Ricardo Dortignac, 3 cassettes

Spanish language translation of the classic popular psychology handbook, The Road Less Traveled. (Subtitle: "A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth.") Drawing from his professional experience, a practicing psychiatrist suggests ways in which recognizing our problems and working to resolve them can help us reach a higher level of understanding both of ourselves and others.

To order any of these titles, call 1-800-252-9605 or, in Austin, 512-463-5458.

Spotlight on Folklore

Thousands of additional titles recorded in Texas are available from the Talking Book Program. Ask a Reader Consultant to recommend other Texas titles and authors or have Texas titles added to your reading list through our automatic selection program. A world of Texas books is just a phone call or e-mail message away.

Among the titles available, you may want to consider ordering these previously recorded folklore titles:

Armadillo and Twelve Others

CT 3825

by Michael James Ritchie, Narrated by Thomas Fountain, 1 cassette

The Mexican culture is full of homespun wisdom which takes the form of legends, fabled and myths such as the thirteen recounted in this book.


Fred Gipson, Before Old Yeller

CT 3826

by Fred Gipson, Narrated by Ed Winn III, 1 cassette

Fred Gipson lived to see two of his books on the book-of-the-month club list and his "Old Yeller" translated in 11 languages and made into a popular movie. Attending the University of Texas during the Depression, Gipson often wrote short stories for Western Pulp Publishers when he ran out of money. Many of the stories he wrote during his college days are included in this anthology of humorous Texas tales.


Legendary Ladies of Texas

CT 3358

by Francis Edward Abernethy, Narrated by Cinda Cyrus, 2 cassettes

A panorama of ghosts, bandit queens, con-artists, madams and a lady governor-all of whom made their mark on Texas. Includes the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Babe Didrikson Zaharias and sculptor Elisabet Ney.


Legends and Lore of Texas Wildflowers

CT 6145

by Elizabeth Silverthorne, Narrated by Jeanne Guichard, 2 cassettes

Texas is home to more than five thousand species of wildflowers. South Texas native Elizabeth Silverthorne has compiled a collection of folklore about the forty-four wildflowers that she found the most interesting of all. For each of the flowers described in her book, Silverthorne explains the significance and origin of its common name, identifies where the flower grows naturally, what uses it has had historically, and what legends are associated with it.


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Tales of the Big Bend

CT 5266

by Elton Miles, Narrated by Dan Cameron, 1 cassette

In the course of over 350 years, Big Bend folk tradition has created a rich variety of tales reflecting the history and character of a land where three cultures-Indian, Mexican, and Anglo-meet, sometimes peacefully, sometimes not. Most of the tales are given in several, often conflicting versions. A few are from old books, but most were collected by Dr. Miles during the 35 years he has lived in the region.


Tall Tales From a Ranch

CT 2802

by Annie M. Boyce, Narrated by Eunice Clingo, 1 cassette

Mosquitoes as big as eagles and boll weevils as big as armadillos are just a few of the fabulous beasts that prowl through this collection of folktales.


This Ol' Drought Ain't Broke Us Yet (But We're All Bent Pretty Bad): Stories of the American West

CT 6092

by Jim Garry, Narrated by Ed Corrigan, 2 cassettes

Garry has spent a dozen years gathering and telling tales of the American West. His stories are a mixture of fact and fiction, extending from pioneer days to modern times, and they come from sources ranging from his Texas ancestors to the Wyoming ranchers he happens upon in diners. Humor permeates all of the adventures in these stories-from bank robbing to cowboying to practical jokes.

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More Texas Titles Thousands of additional titles recorded in Texas are available from the Talking Book Program. Ask a Reader Consultant to recommend other Texas titles and authors or have Texas titles added to your reading list through our automatic selection program. A world of Texas books is just a phone call or e-mail message away.

As with all of the books in our collection, there is no time limit for ordering any of these books. Feel free to ask for these titles at any time-now or in the future.

The Texas volunteers welcome your comments and suggestions. Send an e-mail message to the Volunteer Recording Studio at or write to us at Volunteer Recording Studio, Talking Book Program, PO Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711-2927. If you live in the Austin area and are interested in volunteering to record books, please call 463-5546 for more information. More information about volunteering is available on the web page of the Friends of the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio.

Talking Book Program, Austin, TX, July 2001.

Talking Book Program

Texas State Library & Archives Commission

PO Box 12927

Austin TX 78711-2927

1-800-252-9605 (in Texas)

512-463-5458 (in Austin)

512-936-0685 (fax)

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Page last modified: October 21, 2010