Stories, comments, observations and opinions by a Texan who is happily retired in Sonoma, California. Once a Texan....always a Texan.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017


            This merry band of booksellers opened Blue Willow Bookstore in October 1996 as a neighborhood bookshop with outreach throughout the Houston area. This unique book haven provides a friendly, helpful environment for book lovers of all ages and interests. It’s fun to browse their shelves for books you don’t even know you must have until you are there and realize what you are missing. They take pride in their “opinionated advice.”
            Blue Willow also has a great selection of games, puzzles, stationery, and more.

They are located in the West Memorial area, at 14532 Memorial Drive, 77079. 

Mark your calendar for
April 29, 2017 – 3:00 PM
Meta Strauss
 will read from her
Texas Novel
Saving El Chico
and be there to sign books and answer questions
Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
Contact here to reserve your copies
Phone: 281.497.8675
Fax: 281.497.0180

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sonoma Writers Alliance Anthology - New Published Short Stories

Sonoma Writers Alliance Anthology

This book is packed with a stunning variety of short stories, poems, essays ... and one play. It is a must-have for your library or a perfect gift for a friend. You can read it from cover to cover, or, when you have a few minutes to escape from your daily grind, it's one of those books that you can read a few pages at a time. When you close the cover you'll feel like you've been somewhere and discovered something new.

The group of Sonoma writers represented in this anthology is only the tip of the talent-iceberg living in the small California town famous for fine wine and food. Sonoma, the area the natives called the Valley of the Moon, is a place of many wonders making it a breeding ground for authors from Jack London to Emma Cline to members of Sonoma Writers Alliance.

I am honored to have four of my short stories included.

ORDER HERE - from AMAZON or ask for it at your local book store.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sonoma Radio - KSVY - SPEAKEASY

Go to this link to listen to Meta's visit with Katherine Sevenau on Sonoma's Speakeasy Show as they talk about SAVING EL CHICO, Texas and writing.

Monday, November 21, 2016


What a great evening! The New Braunfels Bandit Book Club chose Saving El Chico as their October book selection. I read from the book. Then, we had an active discussion about El Chico and the very real drought in West Texas. Who is the real Nicholas Graystone? Who inspired the Ed Hawkins character? Bea Mc Pherson? And, where could they meet Jake!!  In person.
Several of the members are "closeted"writers. After our get together I hope they will get serious about pursuing their craft, share their work with others, join a writing group - maybe even consider publishing in the future. There's some real talent hiding in Bandit!
Sandy and David Strauss hosted the evening at their lovely new home over looking the Bandit Golf Course, rolling hills, and the Guadalupe.
The meeting turned in to a party. Thanks to all for a fun and memorable time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FROM SAVING EL CHICO - The Be Lovely Boutique

Daytime temperatures hit 110 degrees for sixteen days in a row, setting a new record for El Chico. A breeze felt like the “puff” when first opening a hot oven door.
Two times a year Lulu Belle Swartz, owner of the Be Lovely Boutique, lined racks, tables and shelves outside her store. She stuffed them with every item she had in stock and then stretched a big sign across the establishment’s windows that said, “MAKE ME AN OFFER”.  
 Dolly Nelson stood behind a display of sandwiches and cold drinks. No one was buying the sandwiches but the cold drinks were almost sold out and it wasn’t even noon. Dolly started filling plastic bags with crushed ice and offered them for a dollar each. “Just slip these little ditties inside your bras and you can keep on shopping in comfort,” announced Dolly as the women lined up for her bra coolers.

 Lulu Belle’s sales were legendary. Crowds of ladies showed up from miles around expecting bargains and camaraderie. Today they were screaming across each other bidding on the blouses, jeans, purses, and jewelry. Like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, it was a circus. Anyone visiting for the first time was amazed that Lulu Belle could decipher the offers through the clamor of high-pitched female voices that sounded like geese in mating season.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Featured Author in Santa Rosa

Meta Strauss will be a featured author, reading from Saving El Chico. Here is the flyer that will give details of the event.

I'm preparing for a trip to Texas as I continue to write the sequel....Thriving in El Chico. 

Visiting the Austin, San Antonio area is always great fun. When I go to Gruene Hall in New Braunsfels my Texas soul feels complete.  The Lone Star Beer and folks two-stepping across the worn wooden floor to live country-western music is Texas at its best. I always imagine the stories this building could tell - the oldest dance hall in the state.