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TRAILER

 
 

OCTOBER 1979

Charlie Sweetwater comes from generations of fishermen and shrimpers on the Gulf   Coastal Bend of the Texas coast. It’s in his blood, but blood has turned bad and Charlie is living the vagabond’s life in Mexico. Upon receiving a mysterious and enticing message from his brother Johnny, however, Charlie points his pickup towards Texas and home. But Johnny is a no-show when Charlie arrives at his hometown of Fulton. The Coast Guard has discovered Johnny’s shrimp boat drifting abandoned in the Gulf. Is it “death by misadventure” as the authorities presume, or something more sinister? What had Johnny been trying to communicate to his estranged brother?

 

Meanwhile, Fulton Harbor, where Charlie’s family has docked their shrimp boats for generations, has changed—and not for the better. Hard-working newly-arrived Vietnamese immigrant fishermen are under the thumb of Col. Nguyen Ngoc Bao, a ruthless exiled gangster who aims to recreate his Asian criminal enterprise in a New World setting.

 

Confronting Bao and his thugs are Charlie and a mismatched group of good guys (and gals): a fast-and-loose Cajun hustler, a salty cast of “Third Coast” barroom regulars, a handful of courageous Vietnamese émigrés, a menacing ex-convict, and a misplaced Texas Ranger who discovers a slice of the Lone Star State that the cowboy movies of his boyhood never prepared him for.

 

Along the way, Charlie finds himself falling for his brother’s girlfriend, whose zealous desire to see justice served tests his own limits for loyalty and commitment. Unlikely heroes arise from improbable circumstances, and the denizens of the small seaside community find their fortunes and fates ebbing and flowing like the tidal flux of the ocean itself.

 

Suddenly, the Sweetwaters’ thin slice of life on the Texas Gulf Coast has never seemed so tenuous, or so perilous.

LISTEN

Chapter One - Miles Arceneaux
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Charlie Sweetwater - Miles Arceneaux
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O.B. Hadnott - Miles Arceneaux
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Miguel Negron - Miles Arceneaux
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Leon Guidry - Miles Arceneaux
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Fulton Texas - Miles Arceneaux
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PRESS

THIN SLICE OF LIFE 
WINNER WRITERS’ LEAGUE OF TEXAS AWARD BEST MYSTERY MANUSCRIPT
 

“An engaging crime caper. This book hits the mark.” 
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2012

 

“The story is involving, exciting. It would make a good film...seamlessly plotted and beautifully told.” 
—Lubbock Avalanch Journal, 2013

 

“Texas coastal fishermen who read fiction, especially the Carl Hiaasen genre, may well be entertained by a new book published by Texas A&M consortium. The action is strictly coastal from Matagorda Island down to the Land Cut, below Baffin Bay. It’s centered around Rockport/Fulton's shrimpboat fleet, but the chase scenes, shootouts, bar fights, general ass-whuppings, a major hurricane, fishing, shrimping, cussing and drinking happen in locations very familiar to Texas saltwater anglers.” 
—Captain Joe Richard, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, January 2013

 

“The big difference between this and other thrillers is the telling. Rather than a slick commercial page-turner, this book is an original, one-of-a-kind, locally grown, artisanal, take-your-time work of imagination.” 
Girlfriends Book Club, December 15, 2012

 

“Three Texas writers have pooled their talents and produced a very readable and entertaining first novel.” 
San Angelo Standard Times, October 25, 2012

 

“In the Rockport-set novel, readers get a taste of mystery, humor, and Texas salt water as they follow a variety of characters on both sides of the law.” 
Corpus Christi Caller Times, October 17, 2012

 

“KUT NPR’s Emily Donahue recently interviewed Brent Douglass and John T. Davis about how their storytelling alter ego Miles Arceneaux came to be.” 
KUT Interview, October 1, 2012KAZI Book Review contributor Tim Chamberlain recently interviewed John T. Davis and Brent Douglass, two of the three Texas based writers that make up their alter ego Miles Arceneaux. 

KAZI Interview, September 30, 2012

 

“I have read Thin Slice of Life, with growing pleasure. If the Texas Institute of Letters had a Melodrama Award these guys would win. We have the average guy, Charlie, who rises to revenge and just keeps rising; the young orphan; the sidekick; the Texas Ranger; and the sinister Asian villain.
    What animates this story is what we used to call verisimilitude: These people know all about boats and engines and tides and gears and such, just as Louis L'Amour knows every weapon his character carries. It is an interesting story and full of life along the Coast.” 

—Marshall Terry, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English (SMU); 2012 Literati Award Recipient

 

The book’s title is a line from Guy Clark’s song “South Coast of Texas:” “The south coast of Texas, that’s a hard slice of life. It’s salty and hard. It’s as stern as a knife.” 
My San Antonio, September 21, 2012“

 

The best stories are ones you do not want to stop reading. When the time comes to go to sleep, or meet a friend, or leave for work, the reader counters with, “Just one more chapter.”
    “Thin Slice of Life,” a novel by Miles Arceneaux, is that sort of story, a salt water-flavored mystery set on the Texas coast.”

 —Lubbock Avalanche Journal, September 16, 2012

 

“[One of the] new books with local ties to warm you up as autumn approaches.”
Austin Monthly, September 2012

 

“Smart, funny and tough...brims with insight...The best suspense novel I’ve read since Cormac What’s-His-Name.”
—Kinky Friedman, Governor of the Heart of Texas

 

One of the hallmarks of an excellent mystery novel—which A Thin Slice of Life most definitely is—is a memorable sense of place. If Dashiell Hammett had grown up on the Texas Gulf Coast, in a fishing shack on some nameless spoil island along the Laguna Madre—well, I’m not sure what would have happened. 
    But back to Miles Arceneaux: he has written his own classic, a surf and turf romp steeped in a salt-air atmosphere that just can’t be faked.

—Stephen Harrigan

 

“A great romp with a bunch of true-to-life coastal characters. The plot is almost as outrageous as reality down there. You can smell the Gulf of Mexico when you open the book.”
—Marcia Ball“A sizzler hotter than a Texas July!”

 
 

PAST EVENTS

Miles will rarely be found at public events, but you can bet one or more of his accomplices will be at these locations: 

OFFICIAL BOOK RELEASE at 
BOOK PEOPLE

Conversation and book signing 
October 1, 2012
7:00 – 8:00pm 
Austin, Texas
Location and Directions

BARNES & NOBLE 
October 6, 2012
1:30 – 3:30pm 
Corpus Christi, Texas
Location and Directions

MARITIME MUSEUM 
October 18, 2012
5:00 – 7:00pm 
Rockport, Texas
Location and Directions

MURDER BY THE BOOK 
October 25, 2012
6:30 – 7:30pm 
Houston, Texas
Location and Directions

TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL: AUSTIN
TAMU Press Tent 
October 27 – 28, 2012
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm 
Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Austin, Texas
Texas Book Festival website

 

VIVA! BOOKSTORE
November 3, 2012
4:00 – 6:00pm
San Antonio, Texas
Location and Directions 

BARNES & NOBLE
November 8, 2012
6:30 – 7:30pm
Lubbock, Texas
Location and Directions

BARNES & NOBLE
November 9, 2012
7:00 – 8:00pm
Midland, Texas
Location and Directions 

BARNES & NOBLE
November 10, 2012
1:00pm
Amarillo, Texas
Location and Directions 

BARNES & NOBLE
November 15, 2012
6:00pm
Waco, Texas
Location and Directions 

BARNES & NOBLE
November 16, 2012
4:00pm
Tyler, Texas
Location and Directions 

THE TWIG BOOKSTORE
Conversation and book signing
December 7, 2012
5:00 – 7:00pm
San Antonio, Texas
The Twig Bookstore Event Page
Location and Directions
 
BARNES & NOBLE
Book signing
April 6, 2013
2:00 – 4:00pm
Dallas, Texas
Location and Directions
 
TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL: SAN ANTONIO
Guest panelists for the "Where Done It?" session
April 13, 2013
10:00am – 5:00pm
San Antonio, Texas
Texas Book Festival website
Location and Directions
 
TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL: DALLAS
Guest panelists for the "Where Done It?" session
May 11, 2013
10:00 – 11:00am
Dallas, Texas
Texas Book Festival website
Location and Directions

BOOK CLUBS

Miles is highly sought after by book clubs, visiting in person and by phone about his wickedly witty novels, his upcoming books, and/or the vagaries of his unorthodox life as a writer. If your book club is interested drop him a line. 

 
 

ABOUT MILES

The author of five funny, fast-paced novels of intrigue set on the Texas Gulf Coast, Miles Arceneaux is a one-of-a-kind writer. Or, more precisely, he is three-of-a-kind—an irreverent persona that is the product of three friends, lifelong Texans, and Gulf Coast aficionados sharing a typewriter and one nom de plume. 

Brent Douglass’ inspiration for Miles’ tales stems from his family’s deep Texas coastal roots, and the iconoclastic characters he crossed paths with growing up there. James R. Dennis’ intimate knowledge of both sides of the law (he’s one of the good guys, it should be mentioned) and his deep appreciation for Texas Rangers lore helps keep Miles’ protagonists on the side of the angels. As a longtime journalist covering Texas and Texans, John T. Davis has sometimes been accused of writing fiction, but this is the first time he has set out to do it on purpose. Together, Douglass, Dennis and Davis make “Miles Arceneaux” truly more than the sum of his parts. 


ABOUT BRENT
International businessman Brent Douglass writes in airports, hotel rooms and drinking establishments around the world. At present he is a principal owner of KBC Networks and peddles data transmission equipment in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is the cultured, cosmopolitan writer of the Miles Arceneaux trio. 

ABOUT JOHN T.
John T. Davis has been writing about the music, culture and personalities of Austin and the Southwest for more than 30 years for local, regional and national publications. He is the streetwise and roguishly irreverent co-author of the Miles Arceneaux canon, albeit its most discerning. 

ABOUT JAMES
James R. Dennis, a Dominican friar, practices law in San Antonio and across Texas. He writes and teaches on spiritual matters and lives with his two ill-behaved dogs. Of the three writers, he is the good-looking, funny one.