174 Cypress St. | Abilene, TX 79601
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Texas Star will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

Regular hours resume Tuesday — 10-4 weekdays and Saturday. We’re always closed on Sunday.

  By Glenn Dromgoole
    Abilene elementary School teacher and author Matt Roemisch wrote a children’s book while stuck at home during the pandemic, Ask Someone Grumpy to Read You This Book ($7.99 paperback).ask someone grumpy
           It’s a rhyming children’s book, but he tells children not to read it by themselves. “You must ask someone grumpy to read you this book. If you can’t find someone grumpy, just take a second look. Trust me, grumpy people are all around, so jump up and find one, then come sit back down.”
           So the grumpy adult begins to explain his (or her) grumpiness, and in the process of reading the book together, of course, the frowns turn upside down.
           Roemisch says the book is not only for kids with grumpy adults in their lives, but also perhaps for adults with grumpy kids in their lives.

By Glenn Dromgoole

             Here are some Texas books I’ve been reading while sheltering at home during the  pandemic.book of lost friends

Lisa Wingate: In The Book of Lost Friends, Lisa Wingate weaves the stories of two young women more than a century apart: a teen-age former slave searching for her family in 1875, and a first-year teacher struggling to find a way to connect with her students in an impoverished rural school in Louisiana in 1987.

Nearly three years after the publication of her best-selling novel Before We Were Yours, Wingate returns with another gripping human drama, this one revolving around families torn apart by slavery (Ballantine Books, $28 hardcover – 20 percent off at Texas Star Trading).

James Patterson teams up with Andrew Bourelle in another murder mystery featuring Texas Ranger Rory Yates – Texas Outlaw (Little, Brown, $28 hardcover – 20 percent off at Texas Star).

If you’ve read anything by mega-best-seller Patterson, you know to expect the action to flow with short chapters that grab your attention and won’t let go. I zipped through this one in a couple of days.

This is the second Rory Yates novel. The first one is now in paperback.

New Western: Texas Literary Hall of Famer Carlton Stowers is making a name for himself (although in fine print) as an author of western novels. His third one, under the name of Ralph Compton (“a Ralph Compton western by Carlton Stowers,” reads the subtitle), is Reunion in Hell (Berkley, $7.99 paperback).

The action jumps off the page as the reader follows the saga of brothers Clay and Cal Breckenridge, featuring a cattle thieving gang, a fine young man whose parents have been murdered, some courageous citizens of Tascosa, and a band of Indians seeking revenge.

Stowers, whose main claim to fame is non-fiction crime and sports books, has now turned out three “Ralph Compton” novels, with two or three more in the works. Good stuff.

             Diane Kelly: Texas fans who love Diane Kelly’s breezy mystery/romance novels will be glad to know she has a new one out in her new series featuring house flipper Whitney Whitaker, cousin Buck, her cat Sawdust, detective Collin Flynn, and of course the requisite dead body blocking the doorway to the house that Whitney and Buck are trying to flip.

“Dead in the Doorway” is $7.99 paperback.

                       Coming Up: A couple of books I haven’t read yet, but plan to:

— Lawrence Wright of Austin, formerly of Abilene, has penned a novel, The End of October, about a pandemic that threatens the world. Pretty timely, huh? It was written a year ago but just came out at the end of April. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve read about it, and we’re ordering copies for our store ($27.95 hardcover — 20 percent off at Texas Star).

— One of my favorite Texas novelists, Jodi Thomas, has a new small town fiction series that begins later this month with the publication of “Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café” ($15.95 paperback).

Coleman Springs: Speaking of small towns, while you’re cooped up you might pick up my one fiction title, Coleman Springs USA, a collection of stories about a little town with a big heart. It’s clean and easy to read, and it’s just five bucks on our bargain table.

Stay safe. Read a lot. Check out our web site – www.texasstartrading.com – for more books as well as jigsaw puzzles, Texas candles, Texas gourmet, and Texas gift items.

Texas Star is now open for in-store shopping with a modified schedule. We’re open 10-4 Monday-Saturday. We encourage phone orders and curbside pickup or local delivery. For in-store shopping, we offer hand sanitizer at the door for all customers. We also encourage face masks, but do not require them.

Texas Star employees will wear face coverings when customers are in the store.  Although we are not required to wear them, we do so out of respect for our customers and their well being. We regularly sanitizer our counter area, as well as credit card pin pad device. We also clean door handles and other surfaces touched frequently.

Please avoid large groups, and if the customer count becomes too great, we might ask shoppers to wait outside until others leave. That has not been a problem, so far.

Please be patient with us as we navigate new waters! We love our customers and want you to return and shop with us when you feel comfortable.

 

Texas CooksBy Glenn Dromgoole

The prolific cookbook publisher, Gooseberry Patch, has included recipes from three Abilene residents in its All-Time-Favorite Recipes from Texas Cooks, a very approachable and affordable hardback, spiral-bound cookbook for just $13.95.

Many of the 175 recipes are covered in a half page or one page and seem pretty easy to produce.

I was thumbing through the book when a recipe titled “Easy Taco Soup” caught my eye. My kind of thing, with ground beef, several cans of veggies, and a few other ingredients. And then I noticed it was credited to Carie VanCleave of Abilene.

I found two other recipes from Abilene cooks – Lisa Herold’s “Ham & Olive Roll-Ups” and Pauline Raens’s “German Chocolate Pie.” Great!

The book includes 20 appetizers, 22 breakfast and bread recipes, 48 main courses, 21 soups, and 29 desserts, plus others. Thirty-five of the dishes are featured in color photographs in the middle of the book.

Come by Texas Star Trading Company and take a look. Might make a nice birthday or wedding gift.

For example, one cook wrote about her enchilada casserole, “This was one of the first dishes I learned to make as a newlywed. My husband said he’s like to kiss the person who taught it to me.” Hopefully, he kissed the cook instead!

We’ve had a huge response to our jigsaw puzzles … so much, in fact, that we are almost out! However, we expect more to arrive within a few days. So please check back with us!

Texas Star’s physical store is closed, although we are still fulfilling online and phone orders. Please let us know if we can help you. We check our phone and email messages several times each day, and will respond to your questions quickly! In most cases, we are shipping same day and next day on orders received on weekdays (before noon Friday). Orders received over the weekend will usually ship the following Monday.

Y’all take care and we hope to see you soon!

Book signings scheduled for Saturday, March 21, have been postponed indefinitely.

Rick Meyers, author of five tennis manuals, and Les Hammond, author of “The Arms of God,” will be at Texas Star at a later date to sign copies of their books.

Autographed copies of their books are now available at Texas Star, as well as on our website.

Due to decreased traffic and health concerns, Texas Star’s abbreviated hours will be 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, beginning Thursday, March 19. Shop online anytime, call us during store hours (325-672-9696) or send an email. (info.texasstar@yahoo.com)

We offer shipping, local delivery, and local curb pickup.

First off, we want to thank you for being a customer of Texas Star. In these times of uncertainty, we want to make shopping easy and safe for you. We are taking precautions in-store to keep our customers and employees safe by frequently cleaning our counters, credit card terminals and other often-used items.
If you are unable or uncertain about shopping in our store, we want to help with that, too! Of course, you can shop our website, but we can also take phone orders. We can even bring a purchase to your car at the curb if you call ahead of time, or we can deliver to your home. Need to buy a gift? We’ll gift wrap and deliver or mail it to the recipient for you, too.
Please let us know how we can help.
Thank you,
Glenn and Carol Dromgoole
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