“254,” Willie and other new arrivals.

“254,” Willie and other new arrivals.

By Glenn Dromgoole        

Quite a few new Texas books have hit the shelves at Texas Star Trading Company.

Lance and Ron Varnell have published a spectacular book of Texas landscape photography. 254: A Photographer’s Journey through Every Texas County includes one beautiful photograph from each county, with a brief history of the county and where it is located in Texas.

Lance spent 15 years completing the project before he went blind. His father, Ronn, developed it into a book.

Taylor County is represented, for example, by a scene from the Abilene State Park. This is a great gift book, full-color hardcover, priced very reasonably at $29.95.


Willie Nelson has put together a collection of letters, essays, personal notes, and stories about America and the people he loves in Willie Nelson’s Letters to America ($27.99 hardcover).

“I love this great nation,” he writes, “imperfections and all. I truly hope we can find a way to all come together to talk about our differences and find the right paths to maintain and improve its greatness for generations to come.”

Former Abilenian Carlton Stowers has written another Western thriller under the pen name of Ralph Compton. Dalton’s Justice ($7.99 paperback) features small town Marshall Ben Dalton heading to Fort Worth to find justice for a friend accused of murder.


Best-selling Amarillo author Jodi Thomas continues her popular Honey Creek series with Picnic in Someday Valley ($15.95 paperback), another charming and heart-warming tale set in a small town. You can’t go wrong with a Jodi Thomas novel.


John Erickson has two books out. The 76th book in his popular Hank the Cowdog series is The Case of the Missing Teeth ($5.99 paperback). Miss Viola’s father, Woodrow, is missing, and the search team gets waylaid by a sudden downpour. And along the way, someone’s missing some teeth.

Erickson also has written Good Smoke, Bad Smoke ($24.95 hardcover), a firsthand chronicle of wildfire, recovery, and adaptation in the Texas Panhandle based on the devastating 2006 and 2017 fires. He and Kris lost their home and most of their pastureland in 2017.


Erikson’s protégé, Nathan Dahlstrom of Lubbock, who writes under the pen name of S. J. Dalhstrom, has produced the seventh book in his Wilder Good series of outdoor adventure novels aimed at middle school readers.

Cow Boyhood ($9.95 paperback) has 13-year-old Wilder helping two aging cowboys make one last trail drive, which doesn’t seem like a good idea at the time, given the two old men’s health issues. But they’re determined to do it anyway.