Taya Kyle has teamed up again with Jim DeFelice to produce a book of inspiring stories, American Spirit: Profiles in Resilience, Courage, and Faith (William Morrow, $27.99 hardcover).

Kyle, whose husband — American Sniper Chris Kyle — was killed by a veteran he was trying to help in 2013, told her own story in 2015 in American Wife, also co-authored by DeFelice.

In American Spirit, they focus on people who are making a positive difference where they live in a variety of ways.

“Shining a light in the darkness,” they write, “produces more light. It ripples, and in so doing, it multiplies its effect through our communities, our nation, and the world in general.”

The 40 stories range from two 10-year-old girls gathering socks to give to nursing home residents to a Marine making it his mission to develop lasting solutions to homelessness in his community.

“We don’t always know the good we do, or the effects we have,” Taya Kyle says. “But the American spirit is present in each one of us, waiting to be expressed and shared.”


South Texas figures prominently in James Patterson’s new best-selling thriller, The Cornwalls Are Gone (Little, Brown, $28 hardcover, with Brendan DuBois).

Army Capt. Amy Cornwall is drawn to Three Rivers, Texas, in frantic pursuit of the Mexican drug cartel that has kidnapped her husband and daughter. After a heroic rescue of a drowning family and a deadly encounter in Three Rivers, Cornwall is tracked to the Victoria Public Library, where she makes an impressive getaway.

Her unauthorized mission takes her from Virginia to Tennessee to Texas to Florida, then back to Virginia for the stunning conclusion.

Caitlin Strong

Author Jon Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island, but he’s now written 10 novels featuring tough, fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, who always manages to get herself into life-threatening situations as she plunges headlong into her cases.

Land’s series began with Strong Enough to Die in 2009, and he’s added a new one every year since except last year. Most of the older books in the series are available in paperback.

The latest book, Strong as Steel (Forge Books, $27.99 hardcover), flashes back to a mass murder and missing cargo case that Caitlin Strong’s father, Ranger Jim Strong, investigated 25 years ago. Now his daughter is caught up in a related case that is connected by a buried secret that men have killed to protect.

Houston Rockets

If you’re a Houston Rockets fan, here’s a book for you: 100 Things Rockets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Jonathan Feigen, veteran Houston Chronicle sports writer. 

Relive all the team’s successes, challenges and personalities through the years. The 296-page paperback (Triumph Books, $16.95) includes a foreword by Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.

Glenn Dromgoole writes about Texas books and authors. Contact him at g.dromgoole@suddenlink.net.

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