Next to the last day. For me its been a fast and fun experience. I have especially appreciated the forthright reviews of Palo Duro. Someone once said “there is no pride in authorship.” That is not true… I certainly take to heart all comments about substance, style, and grammar. It is the only way to move forward as a writer.
Today’s review comes from Kristine Hall. The following is an excerpt from her website, Hall Ways Blog.
HALL WAYS REVIEW: ✪✪✪✪
“In Palo Duro, readers are given thirteen sub-books, each focusing on a historical event or person(s), as related to the Southwest of the 1800s. The events and people tend to weave in and out of the bigger novel because they are all connected in some form or fashion. While initially, some of the stories seem to be irrelevant (but highly entertaining and immensely interesting), author Max Knight makes sure readers know that nothing is randomly placed in Palo Duro.”
As a former school teacher, Kristine Hall does point out the misuse of semi-colons and quotation marks in the book, commenting…
“I don’t imagine there are many who are distracted by a misused semi-colon or quotation marks, but anyone who reads my reviews knows it’s my curse/blessing.”
Such attention to detail is not only warranted, but much appreciated!
There are only a few more days left on this promotion tour for Palo Duro. As we wind down there are always new projects to pursue and even a few more insights into past inspiration and future publications.
The Clueless Gent offers an interview in which I discuss my next book, Tarnished Brass, a look at U.S. involvement in El Salvador in the mid 1980s and the rise of the violent street gang, Mara Salvatrucha. Several news articles lately have addressed Justice Department efforts to eradicate gang violence in the United States, but little is known about this largely forgotten war and the origins of MS-13.
Finally, if you enjoy listening to Spotify, there is also a playlist in Tangled in Text where listeners can enjoy epic musical scores linked to the subject matter in Palo Duro. Though temperatures are expected to rise in Texas today, it is still frigid out there, so settle in another day and stay warm while listening to selections from some of the greatest movies ever made about westward expansion.
Conditions throughout Texas today are frigid. An arctic cold front blew in last night bringing freezing temperatures, rain, sleet and ice. So it is certainly a good day to stay inside, warm yourself by the fire, be safe, and enjoy a good book.
To that end, if a copy of Palo Duro has not yet found its way into your library, I offer the following excerpt from today’s review to peak your interest.
“Only one thing about her new life bothered Molly – the continued slaughter of the buffalo. The hunters killed the cows leaving the calves to starve to death. Their cries as they stayed by the dead carcasses of their mothers could be heard across the prairie and their pitiful bawling moved her to action.”
With that one paragraph Max L. Knight captures the wantless destruction of the buffalo from the Western landscape. In his novel, Palo Duro, he retells the horrific, savage wars and interactions between Indians and government soldiers. It also recounts cattle drives, Buffalo Soldiers, to the beginnings of the Texas Rangers.
Click on this link for the complete review from Forgotten Winds.
Homeward stretch, with two entries for you today…
If you read the review from Texan Girl Reads yesterday, it referenced two of the central characters in my novel, Charles Goodnight and Quanah Parker, and the deal struck between the Texas Cattleman and the Comanche War Chief.
“The thing that I found was very cool was the deal that Charles Goodnight made with Quanah. But y’all just have to read this book to see what I’m talking about!”
Spoiler alert! Today’s post in The Page Unbound contains an excerpt from the book that takes you to this meeting between the two antagonists and reveals their agreement. Of course, though you now know what she was talking about, I still hope you’ll read the book to put the event in context and understand how the arrangement turned mortal enemies into lifelong friends.
And, for those of you interested in more about me, A Novel Reality offers Favorites, Part 2, with entries on Destinations, Leisure Activity, Cuisine, Culture, Location, Sport, and Team. By the way, the last category shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Gig ‘Em Aggies!
We’re at the midway point of the tour and today’s entry is another review from Texan Girl Reads.
Here are a couple of comments from her post –
“Palo Duro is the story of not just Palo Duro, the place, but of the people that made the entire area around it famous! The book is a fast paced read with tons of real-life action from the 1860s to the late 1880s.
If you are into history but most importantly, history set in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, you have to read this book.”
Be sure to read the complete review by clicking on the above link, then check in tomorrow as the 2nd half of the tour gets underway!
I’ve commented before about the importance of reviews to authors who are relatively new to the publishing world; not just those that laud the finished work, but those that offer constructive criticism to improve any future endeavors. Some writers are “one and done,” but most aspire to continue offering their stories and knowing how readers perceive their efforts is important to the creative process.
Today’s blog tour entry is the latest review of Palo Duro. Here are some excerpts –
“Right off the bat, I noticed that this historical fiction novel reads an awful lot like a history book. Not one of those dry, fact-listing history books, but one that was written by an academic author with a bit of an imagination. When Knight is in this mode of writing, his descriptions go beyond the surface skimming details of most historical fiction books. The colorful descriptions range from the beauty and simplicity of Native American family life to the horrible, clinical depictions of warfare.
I have a few minor criticisms: Sectioning the novel into books and chapters was a little odd. And then there was the even odder decision to put all of the book and chapter titles in quotation marks. If it were up to me, I would have divided the novel differently so that some sections didn’t seem so sparse while others bloated. Overall, a great read wrapped in a beautiful cover. It’s not very often that I feel like I’ve learned so much from a historical novel.”
My thanks to Missus Gonzo. For the complete review, please check out her website.
Today’s entries come to you from Storeybook Reviews, where you can find my guest post listing some of my personal favorites in categories such as Author, Literary Genre, Movie, Movie Director, and Musical Scene.
At Books in the Garden, I discuss the genesis of the novel as well as my travels to locations included in the book, why it developed into a story about westward expansion instead of focusing solely on Texas, and my love for westerns in both cinema and print.
By the way… speaking of travel, some of you have expressed interest in knowing where in Texas the blog and websites involved in the tour are located. The locations include (in no particular order) Spur, San Antonio, Round Rock, Willis, College Station, Sundown, Paris, Burleson, Spring, Humble, Cleburne, Houston, Colleyville, Arlington, and Fluvanna. That’s miles and miles of Texas, but fortunately those of you following the tour can virtually travel to these places by just clicking on the links!