Texas authors talk about novels

BROWNSVILLE — Three Texas authors wrote about what life was like in South Texas as early as the 1900s through a love story, heroism and finding their identity.

Authors Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Alfredo Cardenas and Christopher Carmona spoke at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Brownsville campus’ Gran Salon about the fictional novels they spent years researching and writing.

McCall’s novel, “Shame the Stars,” is a story of a landowner’s son who is torn between siding with his father — who is friends with the Texas Rangers, who are known to fight Tejano insurgents at that time — and the son’s friend and love interest, Dulcena, whose family owns the local newspaper and is out to discover the truth about the Rangers.

“Shame the Stars” takes place in a fictional Texas town called Monteseco during the summer of 1950.

“The Texas Rangers were summarily picking up Mexicanos just on word of mouth and accusations,” McCall said.

Carmona, a UTRGV Mexican-American Studies professor, is working on his fourth book, which is called “El Rinche: The Ghost Ranger of the Rio Grande.”

“El Rinche” is about “Chonnie” Ruiz de Plata, and how his family is murdered by the Rangers and how later in life he plans to avenge his family’s death as a ghost of a Ranger.

Carmona has been working on this book for the past three years and has done research by interviewing locals and gathering stories he already knew from his family about life during the early 1900s in South Texas.

Carmona’s first three books have been read all over the country.

“When I did the reading in New York, I had to give 20 minutes of preface of what the Rio Grande Valley is because they had no idea, so it’s well-received,” Carmona said.

Carmona’s book is expected to be released during the summer of 2018.