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Set on the Texas-Mexico border, this little-known corner of the Civil War feels like an Old West version of Casablanca. By 1862 the Union had blockaded all Confederate ports. Just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, Matamoros – a foreign port – was the only harbor where the South could ship its cotton to Europe, and smuggle in arms for the rebellion. So it became a haven for Yankee and Rebel spies, gunrunners and cotton smugglers, runaway slaves, Mexican guerreros, Texas Rangers and rogues of every stripe.
But Matamoros was also full of French Foreign Legionnaires and Austrian footsoldiers – 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.
A Note From the Publisher
ebook isbn 978-1-7342749-1-2
Review Coverage “Matamoros” by James Kahn
MATAMOROS - BOOK REVIEWS
Book Review from Publishers Weekly Booklife-community Excerpts: "History aficionados will appreciate how well Kahn weaves facts into fiction." "Those looking for a strong sense of time and place, most particularly Texas history lovers, will find this hits the spot." "Texas history aficionados will love this dramatic tale of love, double-crosses, and sorrow toward the end of the Civil War." https://booklife.com/project/matamoros-44620
Book Review Published March 1st, 2020 by Chelsie on the "Reading Is My Remedy" Blog: Except: "Matamoros is quite an intimidating novel, with its size and title. However, do not let this book fool you, it will pull you in at page one and soon you forget the size..."
Excerpt: "I really enjoy that he wrote about a different side of the war, and brought interest to that part of history..." https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/2020/03/01/matamoros-by-james-kahn/
FIVE STAR REVIEW: ***** (January 24th)
Reviewed by Christian sia for Readers Favorite: "Matamoros by James Kahn is a rollicking #CivilWar adventure with strong hints of romance, set in the Rio Grande in 1863. It is a turbulent period with war going on. With the Confederate ports all blocked by the Union, Matamoros remained the only access to the outside world, a foreign port where a lot of smuggling went on and where all types of characters appeared: runaway slaves, cotton smugglers, spies, and rascals. It is here that Clay runs his gambling business, partnered with Allie, an ex-con artist. " https://readersfavorite.com/
Kirkus Reviews, in their January 18th review of #Matamoros (the novel by James Kahn ) called it, “An in-depth view of the machinations surrounding the Civil War battle for Texas.” Read the Full Review here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/search/?sf=r&q=Matamoros
Excerpts: “Kahn’s… descriptive prose delivers powerful images...” – Kirkus Reviews
“…Lively, often gripping action.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Skirmishes between the two armies and the maneuverings of the characters involved successfully build tension to an ending that delivers more than one surprise.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Strong leads star in a passionate war tale filled with political intrigue, violence, and scoundrels.” – Kirkus Reviews
Book Review from Foreword Clarion Review February 26th, 2020.
Excerpts: "The prose captures a gritty, jaded atmosphere. Matamoros is a fascinating intersection of historical personalities and events."
"... plenty of excitement in Matamoros. Clayton and Allie’s cat-and-mouse games are clever, entertaining battles of wits."
"Matamoros is a historical novel awash with intrigue, danger, and liars of all kinds."
Amazing #BookReview for MATAMOROS by James Kahn from Tales From The Book Dragon!!
Excerpt: "This is a book for those who love historical fiction at its finest. Kahn may very well be the James A. Michener of our time." http://bit.ly/2SYTYkM
FIVE STAR BOOK REVIEW ***** from Author David Fitz-Gerald, hosting the inaugural stop on James Kahn's virtual book tour for #Matamoros.
Excerpt: "This is a big, detailed, complex, layered book filled with a robust vocabulary and surprising plot twists." and "Amazingly, the author has released a CD to accompany the book, which I’m listening to as I write this review. It is classified within the folk genre and features many influences from other genres as well. Most of the 14 songs are character sketches. Listening to the CD on top of reading the book dramatically adds to the overall experience of Matamoros, and the music is very pleasing to the ear. What a brilliant idea to create musical accompaniment for a book." Read the full review at this link: https://www.itsoag.com/reviews
*****Five Star Review: Thank you BookBub and #JypsyLynnGirl for your 5 star review! Also posted on Amazon.com, Goodreads and #Instagram.
Excerpt: "#Matamoros is truly a unique story .... This book is perfect for Civil War enthusiasts and historical fiction readers in general. .... reading Matamoros is definitely worth the time invested. I highly recommend!" https://www.bookbub.com/reviews/2994203556,
https://www.amazon.com/review/R3OG7G9N16OEQR/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3196870722, and https://www.instagram.com/p/B8u_Tm3AtYc/?igshid=l8v3x1ifitnc
STARRED BOOK REVIEW Thanks to BlueInk Review for this Starred Review of MATAMOROS-The Book & Music by James Kahn, published February 17th, 2020.
Excerpt: "Kahn mixes his fictional characters with real historical figures, and ably presents an accurate picture of racial attitudes and tensions on the East Texas border and the low regard for human life during the savagery of the Civil War. But what makes this book particularly special is the author’s skilled development of Clayton, a character readers will like despite his many unsavory qualities.... "Two maps and a lengthy cast of characters are presented at the book’s beginning. Readers might refer to the maps occasionally, but they won’t need the character list. Kahn makes each one memorable as his engrossing tale progresses, and readers will enjoy every bit of the journey." You can read the full review on http://www.blueinkreview.com/
BOOK REVIEW from Gwendalyn Books 2-14-2020: "I really enjoyed reading this novel, it was one of those books for me that the characters jumped right off the pages. The author's execution was impeccable, he masterly sets characters conflicts that held my attention all the way through to the end." https://gwendalynbooks.blog/2020/02/14/6201/
FIVE HEART BOOK REVIEW from Historical Graffiti February 12th, 2o20
Excerpt: “If you love stories about the old West and the Civil War like I do, you'll want to read MATAMOROS where you get both in one book! A hefty gem, it was complex and well written with a compelling storyline. Clay and Allie were fantastic characters with much of the story being seen through their eyes. Best of all, the author really knew his stuff and had done his homework. This was a complicated place in time and Dr. Kahn did an outstanding job of making it intriguing yet understandable. It was a smooth read and I loved it. If US Historical fiction is your thing then you will love it too. Highly recommended!” https://www.historicalgraffiti.blog/2020/02/matamoros-by-james-khan.html
Very Many Thanks to Tales From The Book Dragon for this re-post of "Why Matamoros is Dedicated to Gene Reinggold." bit.ly/3bZxXLn Read this on my blog here: https://blog.thatjameskahn.com/major-sam-ringgolds-flying-artillery/ Subscribe via RSS feed to my blog here: https://blog.thatjameskahn.com/category/blog/
Recommendation for #Matamoros from BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/reviews/1641011414
Thanks to The Daily Ripple / Ripple Radio for this Music Review of MATAMOROS-The Book & Music from reviewer Bobby Moore, published February 17th, 2020.
Excerpt: "Author and musician James Kahn’s latest album Matamoros doubles as the soundtrack of his Civil War novel of the same name. The interconnected projects showcase Kahn’s talents while painting an honest picture of a contentious time in American history."
Read the full review at the attached link: https://thedailyripple.org/index.php/component/content/article/119-music-reviewer-bobbym/528379-music-review-matamoros-by-james-kahn-bm
Music Review MATAMOROS-The Book & Music by James Kahn via The Daily Ripple / Ripple Radio (John B. Moore) published Feb 6th, 2020.
Excerpt: "From the Irish folk songs (aptly enough in a song about an Irish immigrant) and waltzes to a sea shanty (“Solomon’s Shanty”), the album’s eclectic musical collection is part of the appeal. Kahn’s vocals are steady and the instrumentation simply superb. The character stories that are covered here are as equally disparate as the musical influences."
Read the full review at the link: https://thedailyripple.org/index.php/component/content/article/123-music-reviewer-johnm/520819-music-review-matamoros-by-james-kahn-jm
Music Review - MATAMOROS-The Book & Music by James Kahn from Jim Hynes at The Daily Ripple / Ripple Radio, published January 29th, 2020.
Excerpt: "....Kahn masterfully captures the drama and emotional turbulence both in his words and reflective music.
Read the full review at the link: https://thedailyripple.org/index.php/component/content/article/116-music-reviewer-jimh/516819-music-review-matamoros-by-james-kahn-jh
Music Review MATAMOROS-The Book & Music published January 26th in The Daily Ripple (reviewed by David Masciotra).
Excerpt: "No matter how brilliant a concept, or fascinating the stories, if a record does not succeed in the delivery of enjoyable and effectual music, it will fail to have any impact on the listener. Fortunately, 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. There are folk-gospel, traditional country, blues, and Latino-inflected sounds and styles. The musical variety and acuity transport the listener to the #Matamoras banks, where they will meet a colorful cast of loners, gamblers, fighters, and lovers – all desperately searching for home and safety in the most turbulent moment of American history. "Kahn’s words demonstrate a gift for striking a rare balance between history and intimacy; capturing both the national turmoil of the time, but synthesizing the story down to the triumphs and traumas of ordinary people navigating the dangers and opportunities of war."
Read the full review at the attached link: https://thedailyripple.org/index.php/component/content/article/117-music-reviewer-davidm/515492-music-review-matamoros-by-james-kahn-dm
Music Review by Lee Zimmerman - Matamoros by James Kahn on Saturday, 18 January 2020 in The Daily Ripple
Excerpt: "To call Kahn a renaissance man is hardly an exaggeration. Indeed, he’s had plenty of experience as far as creating stories of a spellbinding nature, having been a writer and producer for such high profile series as 'Melrose Place' and 'Star Trek: Voyager.' Nevertheless, 'Matamoros' the novel isn’t nearly as fanciful. Instead, it reflects the attitudes and intents of a hard-bitten group of would-be spies and deserters thrown together in a cycle of desperation and desire. It’s hard to determine the good guys from the bad, but it rarely matters. The music paints a powerful but poignant portrait of these disparate renegades, outlaws, and outcasts, each intent on their own survival....."
Read the full review at the link: https://thedailyripple.org/index.php/component/content/article/118-music-reviewer-leez/511366-music-review-matamoros-by-james-kahn-lz
Music Review - `Matamoros` by James Kahn (Dan MacIntosh) in The Daily Ripple January 15th, 2020.
Excerpt: “An album as literate as this one is a rarity. To be honest, many contemporary pop songs read more like the work of high school English class flunkies. Not so with Kahn, though, who easily raises the songwriting to the graduate college English literature level. 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’s novel to learn even more, which makes this album a storytelling gem.”
Read the full review here: https://thedailyripple.org/index.php/component/content/article/126-music-reviewer-danmac/510067-music-review-matamoros-by-james-kahn-dmac
Book and CD Review from The Daily Ripple, by Elini P. Austin, published 28 March 2020.
Excerpt: "A Civil War saga that takes place below the Rio Grande, it’s filled with smugglers, soldiers, good-time gals, reprobates and rogues. The sprawling title-track sets the scene, powered by piquant mandolin and sawing fiddles. The lyrics chart a course, as the novel’s protagonist winds his way from Memphis to Mexico."
Read the full review at the link: https://thedailyripple.org/index.php/component/content/article/125-music-reviewer-elenia/549477-music-review-matomoros-by-james-kahn-ea
The “HearNow” page: https://jameskahn.hearnow.com/matamoros
I was just starting a book tour when the coronavirus cancelled everything. I'm blogging about the book at https://blog.thatjameskahn.com/ and I'm doing cross-promotion with the simultaneous release of my Matamoros CD - folksongs about each of the characters in the novel. Both book and CD have been getting great reviews, so I'm trying to capitalize on them posting on social media. I also have a Youtube channel that includes music videos of some of the songs on the CD.