Seven Hot Texas Books for (Hopefully) Cooler Autumn Reading

by Leona Barr on August 26, 2022 in Entertainment,

Texas is one of the most literary states in the country, and we’ve rounded up a great list of new and upcoming books from seven Texas authors for you to pack along on your last minute weekend getaways or add to your TBR list for cooler fall evenings on the back porch. And make sure to mark your calendars for the 2022 Texas Book Festival on November 5-6, you might see a few of these amazing writers there! 

A Gracious Neighbor by Chris Cander

Photo courtesy Chris Cander

Best-selling Houston author Chris Cander explores the geographically close but often disconnected relationships between neighbors and the secrets kept behind closed doors… 

Martha Hale is an affable wife and mother who lives in an affluent neighborhood of well-tended lawns and high expectations. When the glamorous Minnie Foster, a former high school classmate, moves in next door, Martha’s  preoccupation with Minnie’s life, her success, and her marriage becomes an obsession. Find it at

Branded by Jon Armour

Photo courtesy Jon Armour

Magnolia author Jon Armour brings us a debut crime fiction based on a true story detailing the outrageous events and exciting, colorful and humorous antics of cowboy Bob Harold Leach, aka “The Most Notorious Cattle Rustler of Our Time, and the nicest guy you’d ever meet. Bob’s journey through life takes him from early thoughts of running herds of cattle, finding a ranch to call his own, and marrying the girl of his dreams, to a life of stealing cattle, using other men’s ranches to do it, and screwing around with every woman that crossed his path. He is reluctantly herded into a relentless stream of crimes including theft of animal medicines, cattle rustling, drug running, fraud, porn, kidnapping, rape, prison escapes, and a plethora of other deeds that put the “common criminal” to shame. Find it at

The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias

Photo courtesy Gabino Inglesias

Critically-acclaimed Austin writer Iglesias’s story starts with Mario, who, buried in debt due to his young daughter’s illness and his marriage at the brink, reluctantly takes a job as a hitman, surprising himself with his proclivity for violence. After tragedy destroys the life he knew, Mario agrees to one final job: hijack a cartel’s cash shipment before it reaches Mexico. As Mario, an old friend and a cartel-insider named Juanca travel through the endless landscape of Texas, across the border and back, their hidden motivations are laid bare alongside nightmarish encounters that defy explanation. Find it at

Hog Wild by Jonathan Woods

Photo courtesy Jonathan Woods

Ray Puzo, a former sniper and hero of this gonzo noir from Dallas author Jonathan Woods (Kiss the Devil Good Night), takes a job in the Texas hill country at the Cross Bar Ranch exterminating a swarm of mutant feral hogs that have been spoiling the ranch’s grazing land. Radiation from atom bomb tests together with other factors have made the hogs so intelligent they can speak English, stand on two legs, wield a knife, and fire automatic weapons. A large cast of zany characters live at the ranch, including Ray’s boss, the sexy Mrs. Amanda Cross, and her beautiful ‘nympho daughter,’ Loretta. When not killing hogs, Ray spends his time having sex with Loretta and recovering from having sex with Loretta. A massive battle ensues after the hogs declare all-out war. Find it at

Tastes So Sweet by Kelly Cain

Photo courtesy Kelly Cain

Ryan Landry has two wants in life: to send her younger twin sisters to college and excel managing Everheart Bar & Fine Dining. Entering an executive management restaurant competition will help, but starting a relationship with her best friend and the restaurant’s pastry chef, Weston Everheart, will not. His father’s strict no fraternization policy forbids a relationship between the two coworkers, but Weston has loved Ryan since he met her. Will Ryan play it safe or finally listen to her heart? Romance author Kelly Cain lives in Austin. Find it at

Big Horn by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Photo courtesy Pamela Fagan Hutchins

When an investment guru turns up dead in the septic tank behind her husband’s new Wyoming lodge, Jennifer must put the campaign that could make her the youngest ever female district attorney in Houston on hold to defend the well-lubricated lodge caretaker, or he’ll go down for a murder she’s convinced he didn’t commit. Big Horn is the first book in the Jenn Harrington series from USA Today bestselling and Silver Falchion Best Mystery winning author Pamela Fagan Hutchins. Find it at

Jar of Pennies by John Yearwood

Photo courtesy John Yearwood

Former educator and journalist John Yearwood weaves the tale about a young editor of a weekly East Texas newspaper who uncovers clues that lead to the conviction of a mass murderer. The crucial evidence? A jar of pennies stolen by the murderer from one of his victims. As police close in on the murderer, he claims more victims until the editor, supported by several citizens, chases him down and captures him. The book uses this true crime to recreate a sense of ordinary life in a lumbering town in East Texas, where the tensions between wealth and poverty, Black and White, and ignorant and educated stretch the fabric of society to the ripping point. Find it at


Cover photo courtesy Unsplash

Leona Barr is a writer living her best life in Wimberley, Texas.