A Texas Beauty,
Smart and Strong

by Johnny Hughes

A Texas Beauty, Smart and Strong, by Johnny Hughes
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"A Texas Beauty, Smart and Strong"


Here is a synopsis of the early part of my new novel,A TEXAS BEAUTY, SMART and STRONG. Misty Morgan, a former Miss Amarillo, had learned that her great beauty was an advantage in most of life but could be a disadvantage, even a threat. When she first began to have success is medium-size poker tournaments in Las Vegas, Tom Chapman was always there as a cheerleader and confidence builder. He told her, falsely, that he was a psychologist and poker coach to some big-name poker players. They had dinner often on the break in poker tournaments. After weeks, Misty was taking a nap in Tom's room at the Plaza when she was awakened by Tom's erect penis in her back. She fled the room and Tom became a stalker. Here is an excerpt from the novel.

After that, Tom would drive by or park his gray Volvo across the street or leave little notes or call on the phone often. Misty would ignore him. She went to the Las Vegas police and a Sergeant Roy Broomcorn. He said, "An incredible 6.6 million Americans are stalked each year. Sixty percent of stalkers are male, forty percent female. I see the somewhat predictable patterns of behavior but will never understand the motivation. It never benefits the stalker and disrupts the victim's life." He told her that if she got a restraining order, Tom might freak out. He told her that a handgun would make her feel safer. He gave her his cell phone number and said they would have a man there instantly. He also said to come back if Tom escalated, which he did.

Broomcorn told her that Chapman had an odd record in Colorado Springs. Back in 2005, a woman had reported him for stalking and taken out a restraining order against him. He did not violate the order but little was known about this first incident since the detective handling it had retired.

A second woman had reported him several times for trespassing and stalking. He told the police that she loved him and she would understand that later. The woman became engaged. Someone came up behind her fiancee when he was walking up to her porch and hit him over the head with a blunt object but only about half speed. He was stunned and knocked out momentarily and had a mild concussion. The police who questioned Tom Chapman were certain he did it but they had no proof or any witness. His odd behavior gave him away but they could not charge him. Again, he told the police the woman loved him and just did not know it yet. Roy Broomcorn exclaimed, "The detective I talked to in Colorado Springs was familiar with Chapman. He said that he was mentally ill and dangerous but had no bad arrest record. He had a real bad personal feeling about Tom Chapman. He warned you to take any perceived threat from him as dangerous.

Misty told Sergeant Broomcorn, "When you are thinking about leaving, it may be time to leave, be it a poker game or a party or a town. I've sure been thinking about West Texas, the people, the pace in daily life. The pleasantness of it all. I love Vegas. The energy. The excitement. But I'm ready for my home land."

End of excerpt. When Tom Chapman broke into her apartment, Misty and her roommate, Sara Tate, both held him at gunpoint. It was time for Misty to flee back to her native West Texas, and Lubbock. She missed the flatland, the horizon to horizon sky, and the music of the wind.

As she was driving out of Las Vegas, she checked her rear-view mirror often, almost certain Tom would follow her. She had her loaded pistol on the front seat beside under a sweater. Even driving across Arizona on lonely highways, she could not shake that feeling Tom was also headed for Lubbock. But would he follow her?

A TEXAS BEAUTY, SMART and STRONG, is available for sale on all Amazons and by bookstore order. Hardback, paperback, Kindle, Nook, Google eBooks, Adobe eBooks, and Sony eBooks. I need a little help from my friends spreading the word.

- Johnny Hughes

William Kerns' Review. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Novel Themes

My new novel, A TEXAS BEAUTY: SMART and STRONG will be available for sale in two months on all Amazons and by bookstore order. Writing modern fiction gives one ...a lot of space to explore many themes.

My novel is a mystery, romance, and comedy. The main character, Misty Morgan, has a stalker which reveals himself on page one. There are six.six million stalker victims in America each year. Sixty percent of them are male. Stalkers disrupt lives. Misty flees Las Vegas and her stalker for her beloved West Texas, Lubbock and Amarillo. But will Misty's stalker follow her? Yes!

MODERN THEMES: Themes addressed from research and/or experience include: stalking, strong women, necessary secrets and lies, blogs, facebook, talk radio, sex, sex in the 1960s. All the major characters are admirable, smart, strong, and independent. Young love: Dylan O'Malley begins as a rejected suitor, wins girl, loses girl, and gets married in the last chapter. Guns: most of my major characters carry guns, as do I. However, the guns they have always carried are made obsolete by the machine-gun pistols, and assault weapons they are robbed with. Misty shoots her stalker in the shoulder when he kicks in her door late in the book.

The Oil Rich: Evelyn Morgan, 94, and the Morgan Ranch are based on Helen DeVitt Jones, my close friend, mentor, and protector. Her Mallet Ranch has 1100 oil wells, 53000 acres. She has a foundation, charities, and opportunistic hangers-on, like me.

The Morgan Curse: For four generations, there was one male heir who died in a needless, comic accident. The first froze to death riding his horse in a blue norther and was found frozen to his barb wire fence. The second, Evelyn Morgan's husband, was kicked in the head by a horse when he bent over to pick his gold pocket watch up out of the dirt. The third drown, drunk, and gigging frogs, in three-feet of water. The last, who Misty had briefly married at age 16, saw a rabbit run into an aluminum irrigation pipe and picked up the pipe to empty it out. The pipe hit a high-line wire and he was electrocuted. The real, historic ranches, including the Mallet, have lost key male heirs at a disproportionate rate. The Mallet has been controlled by strong, legendarily-eccentric women since the early thirties. Helen's sister had 300 cats. She was called "the Cat Lady." She owned three houses in a row in a great neighborhood. She lived in one, cats the other two.

THE BIG TEXAS STEAK RANCH in Amarillo is frequently mentioned and the last chapter is there. Billboards in many states, eight limousines. It is an incredibly famous tourist attraction. Misty's mother, Smiling Sally, has been a waitress there 27 years. She is America's most famous waitress with a blog, business, cards, a web site, a movie appearance and costumes.

SINGLE MOTHERS: Dylan and Misty have a lot in common: both 34 in 2013, auburn hair, brown eyes, the children of a religious, singing, single mom. Both were resistant to the Texas high school culture of football, rodeos, fist fights, and popularity.

The novel takes place in Las Vegas, Amarillo, Lubbock, and on a large Texas ranch.

Previous Reviews

"This book should be required reading for all young players who have no knowledge of the history of poker. This is the true story of some of the men who laid the foundation for the phenomenon that poker has become worldwide. What a trip down memory lane for an old retired poker player. They say that history is written by the survivors. Thanks to Johnny Hughes for preserving the history of the beginnings of the phenomenon that poker has become."
- Crandell Addington, Poker Hall of Fame. Record holder, most final table appearances at the main event of the World Series of Poker.

"I remember most of the guys you talk about. You have a great writing style, very credible, and entertaining. Those were dangerous times. Sailor Roberts and I were living in San Angelo when Red Harris (who should have been a comedian) came to town to fade a dice game. We shot our way out of the Longhorn Motel when the hijackers tried to get us. Red was a little crazy, not at all like Curly who was always cool. Curly was the consummate gambler, probably the only one I ever knew. He had no leaks that me or anyone else knew of. Almost everyone has bad habits of some sort (including me) but as you said, Curly was always after the cash! Almost all of the guys are gone. A great book!."
- Doyle Brunson, Poker Hall of Fame. Winner of 11 World Series of Poker events, author of The Godfather of Poker.

"He's known 'em all, and played with most of them. He's seen everything, and done most of it. He's as good a writer as he is a player. When it comes to poker tales of Texas and Vegas, old and new, Johnny Hughes is your man."
- Anthony Holden, London, author of Big Deal and thirty-four other books, President of the International Federation of Poker.

"I consider Johnny Hughes to be the William Manchester of poker historians. With Hughes, no task is too burdensome, and no detail is trivial. He flat out gets the story. His writings are a testament to an era of Americana that is as rich as the Old West. Scrolling the pages of a Hughes narrative is like lighting a lantern into the darkest recess of poker's subculture. He brings the legends of the past and present to life and often provides the very best portrait of these unique real-life characters of anyone on record."
- Nolan Dalla, Las Vegas, Media Director. World Series of Poker. Card Player writer. Dalla co-authored the best-selling biography, One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "the Kid" Ungar.

"Johnny Hughes is a historian of poker, and his tales are those from a wilder West, from the days before poker became a staple of Las Vegas' glittering casinos and was then homogenized into television programming for America's viewing public. His tales are as hard-scrabble as the West Texas Panhandle, filled with the romance of the game, the travels, and the ethics of Texas road gamblers a breed that was once prolific but is now fast receding. If you are a poker player, then this is your history. It was raw, even a bit dangerous, and a player needed to have his wits about him all the time. The early players, those Texas road gamblers, never realized they were the fathers of today's game, and they wouldn't have cared. They were poker players. But their story folds neatly into yours, a seamless journey from dusty West Texas to today's card rooms and casinos. Hughes tells these tales without adornment, in a simple, direct style. And that is just the way they should be told. There is no need to embellish; the characters and situations speak for themselves. And they are speaking directly to you. Pick up his book and read it."
- Lou Krieger, best selling author , radio host.

"Johnny Hughes was embedded with hustlers, pimps, crooked sheriffs, and outlaws decades before most modern professional poker players were even born. Hughes is a captivating raconteur and avid historian of Texas gambling folklore. He seeks out characters cast off to the farthest fringes of society, then brings them to life with a unique flair and panache. Johnny Hughes paints word pictures with witty, lush brush strokes reminiscent of Tom Wolfe, but with the bold brevity of Ernest Hemingway. He is nonpareil when it comes to capturing the old-school, rough and tumble days of Texas road gamblers."
- Paul "Dr. Pauly" McGuire, Bluff Magazine, Tao of Poker, author of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog.

"Reading through the deep history from Johnny Hughes is only paralleled by listening to him tell those stories in real time. His knowledge of poker and its key players both before and after anyone knew who they were is like putting yourself in the same room as it all unfolded. My favorite time in history that Johnny expertly portrays is when the mob ruled Las Vegas and Sinatra fooled around in it. We are ever excited to have Johnny visit us on air and count the days until he returns. If you want to know the real stories behind poker before it was on TV and the Internet, the works of Johnny Hughes are required course materials!."
- Ryan Sayer, Chief Operations Officer at OnTilt Radio LLC and Host of The Ryan Sayer Show

"Johnny Hughes is not only a poker-history buff, as am I, but he lived much of it! I always glean something new from his stories and anecdotes. Keep 'em coming, Johnny!"
- Blair Rodman, WSOP bracelet winner and co-author of Kill Phil.

"One of my all-time favorite poker writers. Johnny Hughes poker stories are a national treasure. As one of the few remaining genuine, old-school poker writers, Johnny's hilarious stories and colorful characters are timeless classics and deserve to be placed on the same shelf with all the classics of the genre. This is the stuff of history. Of where our beloved game came from. And it rightfully deserves to be shared."
- Iggy a.k.a. Ignatius J. Reilly, the Blogfather of Poker. GuinnessandPoker.com, Cincinnati, Ohio

"A roller coaster ride of how road gamblers from Texas made their cash, played their game, along with the characters you would most likely meet along the way. This book is told with authenticity and the knowledge that only a true road gambler could possess. If you love poker, then you have just stumbled upon a book that you will love. If you don't play poker, you will surely have an enormous appetite for the great game after a few page turns. A highly enjoyable read."
- Anthony Kelly, Editor, Player Europe Magazine, Dublin, Ireland.

"Johnny Hughes is a gifted writer from the Lone Star State. A Ph.D. A poker raconteur. Author of novels, short stories, essays and poems. The man is an enigma. Cryptic, dark. Irrefutably unique. Elliptical euphemism and metaphor are his tools. Gambling folklore and parables abound. All told with a twinkle in the eye and one finger on the trigger."
- Tetusu, Bet-the-Pot.com, London, England.

"In a new-school industry full of new-school faces, an old-school voice reminds us of where we came from. I'm a Johnny Hughes fan; he has survived the wars of the felt and shared that experience with the world. Now, he gives us another gift; the benefits of his experience combined with a unique story-telling style that allows us to live that life through his narrative Hughes has a truly unique style there is no real substitute for actually having been there. Johnny has been there. Johnny's been everywhere. Johnny bore witness to a lot of the Texas road goings on that the rest of us only hear about Hughes' style is hard (like the man had to be. These men remember a time when poker wasn't so much glitz and glamour, when the cameras and lights were substituted for by cigars and guns. It feels a lot safer the way we do it now, but you have to admit there is a romance to what once was."
- Gary Wise, Toronto, Poker Historian. Bluff Magazine, ESPN.com.

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About the Author

Johnny Hughes, Ph.D. was a professional poker player. He ran poker games to put himself through college. He sold books for McGraw-Hill Book Company. His territory was half of Texas and all of New Mexico. He was an account executive at KCBD-TV, the NBC affiliate in Lubbock. Johnny was a professor and lecturer at Texas Tech University for twenty years. He taught a variety of management subjects to undergraduate, graduate, and Honors students. He was also the Director of Petroleum Land Management.

Johnny was the original manager of the Joe Ely Band, securing contracts with MCA Records and the William Morris Agency for booking. The first three albums, all on MCA Records, were recorded during this time. Johnny is the author of the novel, Texas Poker Wisdom, and Famous Gamblers, Poker History, and Texas Stories, available on all Amazons world wide and by order from book stores. The books are for sale in hardback, paperback, and electronically on Kindle, Nook, Google eBooks, and Sony eBooks. Famous Gamblers is a collection of his best magazine articles and short stories published in several magazines.


Johnny Hughes radio interview. On Tilt Radio with Rich Muny.
Johnny Hughes interview about this book, his own history, and gambling history starts after ten minutes.

Other Books by Johnny Hughes

"Famous Gamblers, Poker History and Texas Stories" - Purchase now, paperback, hard cover, Kindle, ebook, all Amazons, world-wide.

"Texas Poker Wisdom" - Purchase now, paperback, hard cover, Kindle, ebook, all Amazons, world-wide.