The Friends of the Belton Public Library's 18th annual Book and Author Luncheon and Silent Auction held February 25th was a success this year with all seats being sold and raising about $3,200. All proceeds will benefit Belton's Lena Armstrong Public Library. All the authors gave entertaining presentations about their work and their books.
Additionally, Mike Anderson received the Friends of the Friends Award. The award is periodically given to honor individuals who have gone above and beyond in their service to the Friends organization and the Lena Armstrong Public Library. Mike has been active in the Friends organization for many years both as President and board member. He has tirelessly promoted the Friends to local businesses and organizations as well as serving as Master of Ceremonies at numerous Book and Author Luncheons.
The 2023 authors and their books were:
T. K. Lucas
As a young girl and long before she could remember remembering, there were two things in T.K. Lukas’s life: books, and horses. And mostly, the books she read were about horses. When she was eleven years old, she was surprised with a birthday gift—her very own horse—a palomino gelding named Thomas Dandy. “Dan,” as she called him, was the first male to whom she gladly gave her heart. Endless summer days were spent with T.K. galloping Dan bare-back through the woods, grooming him, reading to him, drawing sketches of him, and imprinting his wonderful sweaty-horse scent into her memory bank. Unfortunately, it was a short love affair.
Two years later, a personal family tragedy caused her to have to surrender Dan to another owner. Depressed and rebellious, at times the only things to get T.K. through her misery were the stories playing out in her head, fanciful tales of magical horses, fast horses with swift hooves and kind eyes. The horses she conjured in her dreams would always be at the ready to spirit her away from any sadness. And through the years, horses—and books—have always been her constant, most dependable companions.
T.K.’s life experiences and world travels fuel the native Texan’s ever-expanding imagination, which she pours into everything she writes. Combining history with fiction, fact with fantasy, she delivers stories that, at some point along the narrative, always have horses making their presence known.
Her debut novel, Orphan Moon, published in 2015, quickly became an Amazon.com Kindle international #1 best seller in several countries and on a variety of categorical lists, from U. S. Historical Fiction to Western Romance. Soon after its release, Orphan Moon was chosen as a top-five-finalist in the 2015 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest, placing in the Historical Fiction category. Additionally, it was awarded the Bronze Medal in the 2016 Readers' Favorite Book Award contest for Western Fiction and was selected as a medal finalist in The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for Adult Fiction. It was recently chosen as a 2016 semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards category for Literary Fiction.
If the Devil Had a Dog, her second novel, is a contemporary suspense thriller. It was published December 17th, 2015. It, too, quickly became a Kindle international best seller, hitting the #1 spot in both the U.S. and Germany in several categories, such as Action/Adventure, Romantic Suspense, and Suspense/Thriller. It has gone on to win several awards, such as the Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal in Fiction-Drama, the Book’s Shelf First Place Winner in Fiction, and the Book Excellence Awards Winner in Literary Excellence.
An active member of the Historical Novel Society, Writers’ League of Texas, International Thriller Writers' Association, and Romance Writers of America, the author continues to hone her craft by attending conferences, workshops, and seminars. In conjunction, she works closely and tirelessly with editors, artists, and graphic designers to ensure that what she brings to the reader is a first-rate, top quality product. In February, 2016, T.K. was featured in Book Daily as an "emerging author," and If the Devil Had a Dog was featured in The Big Thrill, the online magazine for the International Thriller Writers' Association.
T.K. Lukas, an accomplished show jumping equestrian, lives with her husband, Baron, on a small ranch in rural Palo Pinto County in North Central Texas along with a variety of four-legged friends: equine, bovine, canine, and feline. Their three grown children are scattered across the globe. Along with reading, writing, and researching, she and her husband enjoy international travel, snow skiing, and spending as much time as possible riding their horses through the woods, taking their dogs for walks, and watching their Belted Galloway cattle get fat. T.K. is also a collector of antique and unique deviled egg plates. The egg plates are a long story, but please feel free to email her at email@example.com for that explanation. She’ll be delighted to share it with you, along with some favorite deviled egg recipes!
Department Chairman and an expert on one of the most infamous generals and battles in American history. Donahue is a scholar and lifelong student of the Battle of Little Bighorn and George Armstrong Custer, as well as Native American history and culture. He is the longest serving seasonal park ranger at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, which now sits in the middle of the Crow Indian reservation in Montana. This summer marks his 30th year as an historical interpreter at the battlefield.
Author and artist Michael Donahue is chairman of the art department at Temple College in Temple, Texas. He received his B.F.A., M.A., and M.F.A. degrees in Art and History from Stephen F. Austin State University. In 1993, he was awarded the title of Piper Professor for being one of the top 10 professors from all Texas universities and colleges. He has published many articles on the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and his book, Drawing Battle Lines-The Map Testimony of Custer’s Last Fight, has won numerous awards. Donahue has worked as a park ranger at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument for over two decades and has researched the battle for over four decades. Donahue is also a nationally recognized artist with over 50 exhibitions to his credit.
R. E. Burke
Travel has taken me and my wife, Bonnie, to all seven continents and to all fifty states in the USA. We reside in Temple, Texas, and have four adult children and eleven grandchildren. As a retired pediatrician, I find it interesting that I am almost as well-known locally for my newspaper travel articles as for my care of children for more than three decades! Seriously, I love educating and being educated. I learned a long time ago that sometimes giving something away is not a loss, but a gain. For example, if I give you an idea and you give me one, then we each now have two ideas. So, as you read my books and posts, please share your thoughts. Feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear from you. Besides being an author, I pursue travel photography, landscaping, and family-centered activities.
As a retired Pediatrician, I aim to inspire young minds to enjoy reading, while expanding their own imaginations and building each one's fund of knowledge. I also aim to create a better understanding of the world and our place in it. Both objectives have led me to begin a planned series of books, Buddy the Globetrotter. Although aimed at middle school readers, adults will enjoy the travel adventures as well. Each story is fiction, narrated by an adorable dog named Buddy, based on actual places and experiences. The first book, Expedition to the Frozen Continent, highlights travel to Antarctica. Currently, it is available in e-format and paperback on Amazon. Hopefully, you the reader, will have fun going to these far-away places without ever leaving your chair.
For several years, I have shared our real travel adventures around the world with readers of our local newspaper. Now I hope to continue to do so by bringing those and other travels into this series, providing more in-depth information in a fun way, embellished as fiction should be. After you read Expedition to the Frozen Continent and future Buddy the Globetrotter books, I'd encourage you to post reviews on Amazon and to personally give me feedback that can be incorporated into making each new book in the series even better suited to your needs. My contact information is listed. Information about my prior publications is also provided on this site. Thanks for helping me to accomplish these objectives as a storyteller.