Hello, friends! As you may know, I spent last weekend traveling around Texas with my husband and with fellow middle-grade author Rebecca Behrens (whose debut novel, When Audrey Met Alice, is one of my absolute favorite reads this year). We did three author events together and ate a whole lot of very healthy food. Here are some pics!
Texas is known for having amazing barbecue, and we made sure to eat as much of it as possible. The first stop was Micklethwait Craft Meats in Austin.
Brisket, enormous beef rib, and pork belly sausage. A delicious start to the trip.
Ice cream break! (Texas is HOT.) Austin’s Lick is known for having interesting, locally-sourced flavors.
My favorite Lick flavor? Caramelized Carrot with Tarragon. Pretty sure it was my first time eating tarragon in ice cream. It was surprisingly fantastic. Hill Country Honey ran a close second.
On to Dallas, where a big blue eye greeted us.
Pecan Lodge is Dallas’s top BBQ joint, and probably our favorite of the trip. Gladys would have given the brisket, burnt ends, and collard greens all four stars. (Peach cobbler was just okay–maybe 2.5 stars.)
Pecan Lodge also lets you doodle on the bathroom door. 🙂 I left a little mark commemorating our books and bbq tour.
Our first book event was the Author Roundup at the Fort Worth Library. They set us each up with our own little station!
Here’s Rebecca, looking adorable in her racecar dress (printed with just the type of car that Alice Roosevelt used to drive).
Our fellow OneFour Kidlit debut author Christine Kohler drove all the way in from West Texas just to see us. Her debut YA novel, No Surrender Soldier, is fantastic.We also got to meet 2015 debut author Jenny Martin, whose YA novel is called Tracked. Here we are making a Jenny sandwich and showing off our All Four Stars temporary tattoos.
One of the library’s copies of All Four Stars on the display table. This was my first time seeing the book jacketed in library plastic–a very exciting moment!
On Jenny’s suggestion, we headed to Roanoke, TX, for dinner: “The Unique Dining Capital of Texas.” It is an extremely cute small town packed with restaurants. Butterfly interlude! And now back to food. After a whole lot of meat from Hard Eight BBQ, we stumbled over to the Oak Street Pie Company. Raspberry-rhubarb pie. Quite possibly the best slice of pie I’ve had in my life. Rebecca said that her cherry pie was also some of the best pie she’d ever had. Looks like Classy Cakes has some competition in North Texas!Mooooving on (heh heh) to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards…
Where we got to see some lovely longhorns.Then on to Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas…Where we ate some lovely longhorns. Tasty brisket, plus sausage from the famous Kreuz Market.Fueled up on meat, it was on to Fort Worth’s Barnes & Noble for our next author event, where we teamed up with the wonderful Texas authors Polly Holyoke and K.A. Holt.
Panel time! We talked about writing convincing settings, our long paths to publication, and lots of other good stuff.
The next day found us back in Austin, seeking yet more barbecue. We ended up at John Mueller’s, where we had some delicious brisket (noticing a trend?), pork ribs, and cheesy squash. Thanks to Rebecca for snapping this pic of me and the mister.After a very interesting visit to the LBJ presidential library, we headed up to Round Rock for our final author event. But first, there was time to seek out the famous round rock itself!Here we are at The Book Spot with our fellow MG panelists Nikki Loftin, K.A. Holt, and Jennifer Ziegler. It was a fantastic panel, culminating in a fun trivia session with prizes.
The trend of wonderful people traveling a long way to see us continued! Here I am signing a book for my friend Linda, who came all the way from Houston for the event.
The bookstore was awesome and got cakes for the party. They asked for one cake that said “Happy End of Summer” and one that had a unicorn on it. This is what the bakery delivered. #oops2015 debut author (and my fellow Emu!) Donna Bowman Bratton joined us for a post-panel Tex-Mex dinner. While it was hard to eat a meal that contained no BBQ, we did our best to power through.
Texas was a blast–and I’m not just talking about the blast of furnace-like air that hits you every time you step outside in August. (Seriously, it was 100 degree every single day we were there.) Thank you so much to our fabulous co-panelists, the amazing booksellers and librarians who invited us in for events, the hard-working bbq pitmasters and dessert artisans who swelled our waistlines, and the friends who made us feel so very welcome. Can’t wait for next time!
P.S. If you are looking for a signed copy of All Four Stars, The Book Spot in Round Rock and the Barnes & Noble in Fort Worth each have a stash of them now. Happy reading!