Preview Anahuac-The Mystery Begins

I appreciate those of you have purchased my latest novel Anahuac. I have created an opportunity for you who might wonder if it is a book for you. Click here to read a portion of the book.

Save the Date–November 4, 2017

On November 4, 2017 I will be doing a book signing event at The Twig in San Antonio for my new novel. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and new. The event is from 11 am-1 pm. I will send out a reminder the week before the event.

My Father’s New Suit

My father was industrious, hard working and the most optimistic man I ever knew. He made money in many ways. He had a difficulty however. As a child of the Great Depression he had experienced many privations on the Kansas farm where he grew to manhood. Oatmeal three time a day for weeks at a time may be great for someone on a high fiber diet, but it wasn’t very fun.

Dad really struggled with letting go of money. He was generous with gifts, jewelry and other notions for my mother. Beyond that he was frugal. One day he came home with a fine wool custom suit. My family was amazed at the quality of the suit. We were further amazed at the cost of the suit, which he confessed to my mother with great difficulty.

As the weeks went on we waited for him to wear his suit. He didn’t. It languished in the closet in a suit bag. Finally one night at supper my mother asked him, “when are you going to wear your new suit?”

He hesitated for a moment and then said  softly, “I bought this suit to be buried in.”

We looked at him in horror. Was disease about to strike our father dead?”

“I don’t know when that will come, but I want to look nice at my funeral.”

It was more than 20 years later before that sad day came. A few days after dad’s  funeral my mother busied herself cleaning out the closet. As she reached the back of the closet she laughed and then she cried. There it was, still in its original suit bag. The frugal modest man was buried in a nice suit, just not the one he pictured. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Maybe there isn’t one. What do you think?

Texas sunset

Publishing a Novel is a Brand New Game–Please write a review

The book publishing business is very different today than it was before Amazon joined the fray. In years gone by, publishing houses ruled the lives of authors. There is no way to know, but I suspect that there are hundreds of books you would have loved stuffed in land fills and ancient trunks in dusty attics that were “too” something to get past the guard gate in traditional publishing. It’s even harder today because unless your name is Grisham you are even less likely to get a big publishing house to take the financial risk to publish your first book.

Anahuac A Texas Story

Self publishing with Amazon as your platform has revolutionized the industry and it is now flooded us with those once thought lost volumes of “forgotten lore.” You have to take the good with the bad. How can authors get their work noticed in the daily avalanche of new published books. By doing just what I’m doing in this blog. So far I’ve buried the lead in this article. The way you help people whose books you like is the review them honestly on Amazon and other sites devoted to books. It only takes a minute and you don’t have to do a New York Times Review. My new book Anahuac is a fun read and will also challenge you to think about justice, greed and religion. If you have done me the honor of reading Anahuac, please give your opinion. I like good reviews, but there is a lot to learn from “less good” ones. You help us all by reviewing. One more request, stop by my new Author Page on Amazon. It is under William Duane Darling. The Author page and my website will tell you my schedule of book signings and speeches. I have two scheduled now in Austin and San Antonio. Times and dates will be posted tomorrow. Exciting times for me. I would love to see you if you are in the vicinity. No purchase required.

Anahuac–A Texas Story


The completion of a novel brings a mix of emotions. Certainly euphoria and a sense of accomplishment are primary, but  there are also  moments of melancholy. I’ve had Sarita Jo, Jim Ward, Cooper, Chinky, Aurora, Wells, Reverend Clay and the mysterious Maurice Marrow all to myself for the last year and a half. Now I want to share their story with you. Anahuac will be available this week in paper back at and an electronic edition at Kindle.comAnahuac is a standalone second novel in the series that began with Morgan’s Point (available on and in Paperback at I would suggest that you read Anahuac first if you have not already read Morgan’s Point. The beauty is that you can read them in any order you choose. Oh, by the way, if you are mystified as to how to pronounce Anahuac you are not alone. While it is not technically correct, “Anna whack” is how most locals say the name of their town.

This mystery legal thriller is set in 1972. Anahuac explores religious fervor that may be cloaked in good or perhaps evil. In Anahuac, this isolated outpost on the shore of Trinity Bay on the Texas Gulf Coast, a high stakes criminal trial plays out with more than just a man’s life on the line.

Anahuac Courtroom

Anahuac Courtroom

Anahuac is an historic town whose importance in the beginnings of the Texas Revolutionary war with Mexico is often overlooked. In 1832, William Travis, a lawyer practicing in Anahuac, is at the center of the first armed conflict between the revolution minded Texicans (U.S. Citizens who immigrated to what was then Mexico by invitation) and the Mexican Army. Travis would go on to command the more famous Alamo garrison that was wiped out by Mexican President Santa Anna’s army. Whether Travis really whispers something in Jim Ward’s ear as he stands alone in Fort Anahuac State Park is up to you, but courage is where you find it.

Inside Fort Anahuac Park

Inside Fort Anahuac Park

In order to do research on the prequel to Anahuac that will be the next book in the A Texas Story series and to make sure that the area was recovering well from Hurricane Harvey I visited Anahuac on Monday. I wanted to stop by and say hello to the wonderful people who run the Chambers County Library and was thrilled to see that the library weathered the storm quite well. There was considerable flooding of low lying areas, but Anahuac looked like it was in a full recovery mode.

We arrived in Anahuac a bit before the library opened and made a real find — Denna’s Donuts. Denna’s opens at 4:30 in the morning which tells you a bit about how hard people in Anahuac work. This place is worth the trip off of I-10 to Anahuac all by itself. I’m sure you can tell from these pictures that all of the pastries are low-cal.

After the feast at Denna’s it was over to the library to thank the staff there for their help. The Chambers County Library is great community resource for the county. I am truly indebted to them for their help.

Next we made the short trip over to the Chambers County Courthouse that is featured in the criminal trial in Anahuac.

Chambers County Courthouse

Chambers County Courthouse

There is a mural nearby of the old Fort Anahuac site which is also featured in Anahuac. The mural is one of the few depictions of the Mexican Fort from the early 1830s.

The invasion of the old fort site in 1972 by evangelical Christians plays a major part in our story.

Anahuac has been a labor of love. It is full of serious questions about justice, but it also has a humorous side as Jim Ward struggles to  come to terms with three strong women and the feminist movement of the early 1970s. To sum it all up, Anahuac is about serious subjects, but there is also humor. If you read Anahuac, please review it on Amazon or Kindle. It is a great help to me.