Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of Motamoros
by James Kahn, which is being hosted by HFBT!
by James Kahn
Publication Date: December 20, 2019
Pen Wild Press
Paperback & eBook; 442 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Western
In the U.S. Civil War, by 1862 the Union had blockaded all Confederate ports. Just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, Matamoros was the only harbor where the South could ship its cotton to Europe, and smuggle in arms for the rebellion. So it was a haven for Yankee and Rebel spies and diplomats, gunrunners and cotton smugglers, runaway slaves, bandits, Texas Rangers, and rogues of every stripe.
But Matamoros was also full of French Foreign Legionnaires – because that same year, Napoleon III had invaded Mexico, to install Archduke Maximilian of Austria as Emperor.
Set against the backdrop of two wars, this is the story of Clay – an expatriate Southern gentleman running a gambling hall – and Allie, his ex-con artist partner, bringing her cotton train to market – in a star-crossed affair that may or may not survive their conflicted allegiances amidst the tides of battle.
Praise for Matamoros
“A historical novel offers an in-depth view of the machinations surrounding the Civil War battle for Texas. Kahn descriptive prose delivers powerful images…Strong leads star in a passionate war tale filled with political intrigue, violence, and scoundrels.” – Kirkus Reviews
“The author does a wonderful job of capturing the diï¬€erent elements of the setting, exploring the historical and social aspects. The prose is beautiful and highly descriptive, and readers will enjoy the social commentaries that punctuate the narrative. This is an awesome read, fast-paced and ï¬lled with action. The author paints exciting images of a town flourishing in times of war and makes readers feel as though they were part of it.” – Readers Favorite, 5 stars
Praise for Matamoros CD
“The music paints a powerful but poignant portrait of these disparate renegades, outlaws, and outcasts, each intent on their own survival. The sumptuous paintings included with the CD add a bonus element as well, and given the complete packaging a story, music and art it confirms the fact that concept and creativity far outweigh the amorphous nature of digital downloads. More than that, Matamoros is an album for the ages, both heartbreaking and affecting in equal measure.” – Lee Zimmerman, The Daily Ripple
“Few songwriters have the determination to tell full-length stories through their songs. Greats, like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, are a couple of notables in this limited group coming immediately to mind. Therefore, James Kahn has placed himself in a uniquely special group with this song collection. These songs are so good, in fact, they make you want to read Kahn novel to learn even more, which makes this album a storytelling gem.” – Dan MacIntosh, The Daily Ripple
“Kahn excels in the diverse composition of story-songs that capture not only the emotional and historical intricacies of their lyrical subject matter but also the natural sonic accompaniment for their travails. The lyrics are intelligence, the performances are skillful, and Kahn works within the limits of his voice to communicate with the heart and mind of the listener. Matamoros subverts the American addiction to instant gratification, and pop culture resistance to complexity and nuance, and while doing so, gives his listeners songs that they can sing.” – David Masciotra, The Daily Ripple
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
Clayton Wilkes, is a proprietor of Brave River Gambling Emporium located just south of the border in Matamoro. Before the wars, Matamoro, Mexico, was a sleepy village of just 300 people, it lay across the Rio Grande River from Brownsville Texas.
This made Matamoro Mexico, a strategic port during the Civil War. Since union gunships could not by law blockade foreign ports, it became a advantageous door of opportunity for the confederacy. Allowing southern cotton to be exported to world, and other materials to be smuggled into the south.
1863, the population exploded to 40,000 people or so. Becoming a notorious place, where all kinds of class of characters inhabited the area from thieves and cons, both union and confederate spies. Shady and disreputable hooligans of the devious sort. Where shady business deals and economics exchange hands, and an assortment of renegades, cotton smugglers, depict the diverse multicultural and social classes of the town.
This exquisitely researched, complex novel, with its punchy narration and lively dialogue, will keep you captivated. Entertaining well fleshed out characters adds to the stunning epic plot line. The really intriguing sub-characters are just as wonderful as the main characters, adding a appealing diversity. There also is a notable romantic storyline, that is creatively woven in perfectly within the novel. As the novel unfolds you will be captivated by the dynamics of Clayton and Allie. Their conflict offers an insightful perspective of with the political and emotional turmoil that where the struggles of the day.
I really enjoyed reading this novel, it was one of those books for me that the characters jumped right off the pages. The authors execution was impeccable, he masterly sets characters conflicts that held my attention all the way through to the end. The book has great pace and depth, transporting you to the town of Matamoro, Mexico. Historical, riveting atmospheric details set the backdrop to the authors seamless writing prose. The authors strength as writer shows through as he meticulously describes scenes with such lush imagery that you are fully immersed in the world he has created.
About the Author
James Kahn is an ER doctor, novelist, TV writer-producer, and singer-songwriter. In addition to many original novels (including the sci-fi trilogy World Enough and Time, Time Dark Laughter, and Timefall) he authored the novelizations of Return of the Jedi, Poltergeist, The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
His television credits span the genres, from St. Elsewhere, to William Shatner TekWar, to Xena: Warrior Princess. He was a Supervising Producer on Star Trek: Voyager, Co-Executive Producer on Melrose Place, Emmy-nominated for his work on All My Children, medical advisor on Spielberg’s ET: The Extraterrestrial; and produced the feature film The Bet, which won Best Feature at the LA Femme Film Festival, 2013.
He’s previously released four Americana music CDs, including Waterline, The 12th Elf, Man Walks Into A Bar, and The Meaning of Life. Matamoros is the first simultaneous novel and CD release, and his first foray into deeply researched historical fiction.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 10
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit
Tuesday, February 11
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Friday, February 14
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Sunday, February 16
Interview at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, February 18
Review at Books and Zebras
Thursday, February 20
Review & Guest Post at Tales from the Book Dragon
Friday, February 21
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Sunday, February 23
Review at Reading is My Remedy
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Matamoros! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 23rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback giveaway is to the US only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.