Novelist Leila Meacham dies at 83

Novelist Leila Meacham dies at 83

By Glenn Dromgoole

We are sad to report that best-selling Texas author Leila Meacham  — author of Roses, Titans and other epic Texas novels – died in San Antonio on Sept. 19 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 83.

Leila (pronounced LEE-la) and her husband, Dick, visited Abilene in 2012, 2014, and 2016 when she was a featured author at the West Texas Book Festival and the Texas Author Series. She received the A.C. Greene Award, given to a distinguished Texas author, at the book festival in 2016.

Her signature novel, Roses, was completed and published after she was 70 and had retired as a high school English teacher. It made the New York Times Best Seller List, as did several of her later books.

She was a delightful person and had a number of friends in Abilene, including the owners of Texas Star Trading Company, and a former student, longtime Wylie football coach Hugh Sandifer. We will miss her.

If you haven’t read any of her novels, we highly recommend Roses, Titans, and her last one, Dragonfly, set in France in World War II.

Hanger’s Horsemen

           Congratulations to Abilene novelist Karen Witemeyer for a gripping series of historical romance/inspirational novels set in Texas. I’ve read the first two in the Hanger’s Horsemen series – At Love’s Command and The Heart’s Charge – and both are filled with action and suspense, as well as love and faith. The third one is due out next year.

She also has a Christmas book already on the shelves at Texas Star: Under the Texas Mistletoe: A Trio of Christmas Historical Romance Novellas.

October Book Signings

             We’re glad to be having book signings again at Texas Star. We plan to have the authors outside under the awning, weather permitting, and we respectfully request customers wear face coverings as a courtesy to our guest authors.

Bob Phillips, the popular longtime host of the TV show Texas Country Reporter, will be at Texas Star on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 1-3 p.m. to sign his new book, A Good Long Drive, celebrating the 50th anniversary of TCR. His wife and co-host, Kelli, plans to be here as well.

Lindy Bell of Plano, an ACU grad and the sister of retired Abilene Fire Chief Larry Bell, has written a powerful debut novel – Fully Involved — revolving around the dedication of firefighters and the hidden dangers they face. She’ll be at Texas Star from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct.16, for a book signing.

Penny Klostermann will sign her children’s book, There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, from 11:30 – 12:15 Saturday, Oct. 23, as part of a downtown “From Castles to Clouds” celebration organized by the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council and featuring a new dragon mural.