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 Amazon.com and an electronic edition at Kindle.com. Anahuac is a standalone second novel in the series that began with Morgan’s Point (available on Kindle.com and in Paperback at Amazon.com). 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 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.
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.
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.