Thursday, April 11, 2013

On Tour and an Excerpt: A Good Kind of Knowing by Kathy Lynn Harris

A Good Kind of Knowing is a novel about the power of music and friendship, the relationship two-steps that go on in old Texas dancehalls, and the secret to finding just a little bit of common ground in a world full of distrust. Sera Taylor's store is the one place in Lakeville, Texas, where individuals from all walks of life share a universal love for music and a respect for the gypsy-like woman behind the antique glass counter.

Readers get a taste of the unorthodox connection between Sera and Mack, a young local cowboy and musician, and Sera’s previously untested devotion to her husband Bill. They learn of her relationship with Ruby D., the vibrant but misguided mother of five; with Louie, the shy high school band director; with Beverly, the religious, upper-class socialite; with Antonio, a local bar owner striving to make a life for himself; with Tommy Lee, a rich and directionless gigolo; and with Wes, the only out-of-the closet gay man for miles.

As Sera battles a serious illness, the characters must overcome long-held stereotypes to save Sera’s store, and in the end, large parts of themselves. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

Enjoy an excerpt
            By the time Bill and Sera made it to the street dance, Mack’s band was well into its first set. Antonio found Sera right away, waving them to join him over on the sidewalk, near the neon signs in the window of the town’s favorite cafe. The mist of a low-hanging cloud saturated the sky above the streetlights and created shiny halos around them. Spotlights from the stage in blue and pink and white mixed with the yellow brightness of the traditional street lights and cast a glow on Bill’s face. When he tilted his chin down to kiss the top of her nose, his black Stetson blocked out the rest of the world and made her feel for a second that the old safety net had returned.
            In the crowd, the glowing red of burning cigarettes competed with the occasional glare of a silver belt buckle caught by the stage lights. The cool night air was still now, unlike the morning’s wind, and smelled of beer and men's aftershave. Already, the circumference of the roped-off street was lined with drunks who’d made a point of being in the beer tent all day and now were sitting like children on the curbs, finding it difficult to stand up on the sloping pavement. Many had found a spot to wait out the worst of their state in the metal folding chairs that lined the shadows, near the chicken wire and orange traffic cone barricades. Paper cups, aluminum cans and flattened cardboard plates that once held barbecue and corn-on-the-cob were scattered across the pavement.
            The wide lanes of the street, divided only by a faded yellow line, seemed to reveal more about the night than a dance hall might. Even lovers’ tiny quarrels were more easily seen in this open space. There were fewer dark corners, fewer ways to hide. And no ceiling to hold it all inside.
            Tommy Lee, decked out in a long brown suede jacket over his usual attire and smelling strongly of Jim Beam, snuck up and goosed Sera from behind.
            “Hot damn, woman, you look good,” he said as she jumped.
            “Well, don’t you look official, Mr. Festival King,” she said, laughing and truly appreciating his attempt to flatter her when she knew she looked like hell.
            “I thought maybe you were pulling a Bevs and boycotting the dance tonight. Kinda late in getting out here, aren’t you?” he said, looking at his watch. Bill turned away to shake hands with a friend and his wife.
            “Oh, I don’t have near the backing that Big Bev has. Besides, I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” she said above the music and the crowd. “But you won’t believe what happened.”
            Bill glanced over at them, then back to his friend.
            “The store was burglarized,” Sera said. “After all these years. Guess it was bound to happen eventually.”
            “No way. Who would …?” Tommy Lee said. For a moment he seemed to be trying to put together a puzzle, forcing an odd-shaped piece to fit in a space it wasn’t right for. Then his voice rose a bit. “Wait a minute,” he said, still thinking. Then, “Wait a goddamn minute.”
            Suddenly, he pushed past Sera and through the crowd to where Antonio was sitting with a group of his bar regulars. Sera felt alarm rising in her chest and hurried after him.
            Tommy Lee rushed up to Antonio, grabbing him by his shirt and pulling him out of his chair. Two men immediately kicked back their own chairs to assist Antonio.
            “Tommy Lee,” Sera was calling, not able to move as quickly through the crowd as he had. By the time she got there, Antonio was cursing at Tommy Lee in Spanish as he smoothed where Tommy Lee had caught his shirt. The two friends of Antonio’s were holding Tommy Lee back as he shouted back to Antonio in English.
            “What the hell is wrong with you?” Sera knocked Tommy Lee in the chest with both hands. “You're stinking drunk.”
About the author

Kathy Lynn Harris is the author of two novels: Blue Straggler, a former Amazon #1 bestseller in three categories, and the award-winning A Good Kind of Knowing. In addition, Kathy has written magazine and newspaper articles, an online column on mountain living, short fiction, essays and really bad poetry. Her work has also appeared in numerous published anthologies. In April 2013, Kathy will release her third children’s book, Higgenbloom and the Dancing Grandmas.

Kathy grew up in a South Texas ranching family, but made the move from Texas to the Colorado Rockies in 2001 to focus on her writing and soak up All Things Mountain. Kathy’s blog, You Can Take the Girl Out of Texas, But …, can be found on her website, She lives west of Denver in a haunted (she’s sure of it!) 1920s cabin with her husband, son and two fairly untrainable golden retriever mixes.

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