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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Mary Hamilton

13 June 2018

Myra Hargrave McIlvain

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Myra H. McIlvain

Award Winning Author

Myra Hargrave McIlvain is a teller of Texas tales. Whether she is sharing the stories in her books, her lectures, or her blog, she aims to make the Texas story alive. She has free-lanced as a writer of Texas historical markers, written articles for newspapers all over the country and for magazines such as Texas Highways. She has had nine books published—all Texas stories. Her most recent book, THE DOCTOR’S WIFE, is a prequel to her award-winning STEIN HOUSE. McIlvain lives in Austin with her husband Stroud. Her children are grown, and she enjoys the company of a houseful of grands.

WATERS PLANTATION

Synopsis

It is 1875 in Texas, and Albert Waters takes pride in his image—prosperous merchant and plantation owner who freed his wife’s slaves before the Civil War and gave them land after her death. Then his son Toby, ready to depart for Harvard Medical College, demands answers. Was his mother a slave?
How does a man account for the truth that on a drunken night, when all he could think about was Amelia, his long-ago lover, he gave in to the touch of a slave girl?
Al and the Waters plantation co-operative of former slaves create a community that prospers as they educate their children and work their land. They organize against political forces reexerting control through rape, lynchings, and the rise of the KKK. 
Al believes he has been given a new life when Amelia arrives in the midst of the turmoil to rekindle the passion of their love. But, in this rapidly changing world swirling around him, Al will have to confront the image he has held of himself if he wants to keep Toby and Amelia, the two people he loves most.

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THE DOCTOR'S WIFE

Synopsis

Young teacher Amelia Anton leaves Germany in 1845 on an immigrant ship bound for Texas. After the death at sea of the child she is hired to tutor, her employer abandons her. Amelia quickly accepts the marriage proposal of the much-respected physician, Joseph Stein, only to discover that he is not the husband she expected.

This story of heartache and betrayal is woven into the struggle of the German immigrants who choose to remain on the barren shell beach of Matagorda Bay and create the burgeoning seaport of Indianola.

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STEIN HOUSE

Synopsis

After three long months at sea, Helga Heinrich and her four children sail into the thriving Indianola seaport on the Texas coast in 1853 to begin their new life. They are determined to overcome the memory and haunting legacy of Max, her husband and their papa, who drowned in a drunken leap from the dock as their ship pulled away from the German port. Helga is anxious to be reunited with her sister Amelia, and she’s grateful her wealthy brother-in-law, Dr. Joseph Stein, fulfills his part of the bargain that brought the family to the new world, even without Max to run Stein Mercantile. Helga takes charge of Stein’s massive boarding house overlooking the road to Texas’ interior and the fickle waves of Matagorda Bay. A woman of strong passions, Helga operates Stein House for boarders of all stripes whose involvement in the rigors of a town on the edge of frontier influences and molds all their lives—the cruelties of yellow fever and slavery, the wrenching choices of Civil War and Reconstruction, murder, alcoholism, and the devastation wrought by the hurricane of 1886.

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TEXAS TALES

Synopsis

These tales trace the Texas story, from Cabeza de Vaca who trekked barefoot across the country recording the first accounts of Indian life, to impresarios like Stephen F. Austin and Don Martín DeLeón who brought settlers into Mexican Texas. There are visionaries like Padre José Nicolás Ballí, the Singer family, and Sam Robertson, who tried and failed to develop Padre Island into the wonderland that it is today. There are legendary characters like Sally Skull who had five husbands and may have killed some of them, and Josiah Wilbarger who was scalped and lived another ten years to tell about it. Also included are the stories of Shanghai Pierce, cattleman extraordinaire, who had no qualms about rounding up other folks’ calves, and Tol Barret who drilled Texas’ first oil well over thirty years before Spindletop changed the world. The Sanctified Sisters got rich running a commune for women, and millionaire oilman Edgar B. Davis gave away his money as fast as he made it. Sam Houston, Jean Lafitte, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Lucy Kidd-Key, Minnie Fisher Cunningham, all these characters and many more—early-day adventurers, Civil War heroes, and latter-day artists and musicians—created the patchwork called Texas.

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